UK court sentences Ekweremadu, wife to 16 years in prison

Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has been jailed by a UK Court, to 10 years in prison for a plot to harvest human organ.

The court, on Friday, also sentenced his wife, Beatrice to six years in jail.

Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife, Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 51, were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury in March in the first organ trafficking conviction under the Modern Slavery Act.

They were found to have conspired to bring a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to a private renal unit at London’s Royal Free hospital as a potential kidney donor for Ekweremadu’s daughter Sonia.

In his sentencing remarks on Friday, Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson, said all three conspirators played a part in a “despicable trade”. He said: “The harvesting of human organs is a form of slavery. It treats human beings and their bodies as commodities to be bought and sold.”

Mr. Justice Johnson pointed out that Ike Ekweremadu had been part of the Nigerian senate when it outlawed organ trafficking.

Addressing Ekweremadu the judge said: “You played a leading role in the offending. You did so in order to secure the material advantage, namely a human kidney for your daughter. I am sure that you were the driving force throughout.” He added: “Your conviction represents a very substantial fall from grace.”

In reference to the bribing of a medical secretary at the Royal Free, the judge said: “You were involved in the corruption of a member of hospital staff.” The judge said Ekweremadu must serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison and the remainder released under licence.

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