LONDON, UK – A Nigerian senator, Ike Ekweremadu, has been found guilty by a London court of attempting to have a young man’s kidney removed in 2022 for a transplant to his daughter. The verdict was announced on Thursday after a lengthy trial, which also saw Ekweremadu’s wife, Beatrice, and a doctor who acted as a go-between, Obinna Obeta, also found guilty of conspiring to bring the young man to the UK to have his kidney removed.
The court heard that Ekweremadu had approached Obeta, a doctor based in Lagos, Nigeria, to find a suitable kidney donor for his daughter. Obeta then made contact with the victim, who was promised payment of £7000 for his kidney. The young man was then flown to the UK, where he was put up in a hotel in preparation for the operation.
However, the plan was foiled when staff at the hotel became suspicious of the young man’s presence and alerted the police. The victim was then rescued and taken into protective custody, while Ekweremadu, his wife, and Obeta were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit organ trafficking.
During the trial, Ekweremadu, who is a former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he had no knowledge of the plan to remove the young man’s kidney. However, the court found that he had played a key role in the conspiracy and had even paid for the young man’s travel expenses and accommodation.
In a statement, the judge in the case said that the actions of the defendants were “abhorrent and a gross violation of the victim’s human rights.” She added that the fact that the victim was willing to sell his kidney did not excuse the defendants’ actions.