The Ekweremadus alongside their doctor were found guilty of conspiring to bring a street trader to the UK to exploit his kidney.
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, have been found guilty of organ trafficking in an unprecedented case in the United Kingdom.
After a six-week trial at the Old Bailey, the couple and a medical doctor, Dr Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to Britain with the aim of exploiting his body organ.
The jury found on Thursday, March 23, 2023, that the trio criminally conspired to bring the young man to London to exploit him for his kidney.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, in his submission to the court said the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the victim and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward,” adding that they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction,” with the young man.
The couple, their daughter, Sonia, and Obeta had been standing trial at the Old Bailey for organ harvesting and their conviction on Thursday was the first verdict under United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act.
The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, will hand down a sentence to the convicts at a later date, The Guardian UK reports.
Recall Ike and Beatrice were arrested last year in the United Kingdom over the alleged trafficking of a young man into the country with the purpose of harvesting his kidney.
The victim was falsely presented to doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to carry out an £80,000 private procedure.
Reports say the young man was offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia who was forced to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University following a kidney disease.
Speaking further, Davies told the jury that Ekweremadu showed showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy.”
The prosecutor also said the former Deputy Senate President “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact.
“What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty,” Davies added.