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Organ Harvesting Trial: Real Reason I Sought Kidney Donors Outside My Family – Ike Ekweremadu

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, has insisted that his doctor advised him against seeking a kidney donor from his family members.

Ekweremadu disclosed this to a court in London on Thursday, March 9, 2023, during cross-examination in an organ harvesting and trafficking criminal trial.

Recall that the lawmaker and his wife, Beatrice, are facing charges in the United Kingdom (UK) after they purportedly lured a young man from Nigeria to harvest his organ for their sick daughter, Sonia, who is also standing trial.

Ekweremadu was arrested last year and has been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.

Daily Mail reports that the young man, a 21-year-old trader from Lagos, Nigeria, was to be rewarded for donating a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

However, while cross-examining Ekweremadu on Thursday, Prosecutor Hugh Davies KC said, “On the question of whether a family member could, in principle, act as a donor, you decided that wasn’t possible based on a reported conversation between your non-nephrologist brother and Dr [Obinna] Obeta, a non-nephrologist?”

Ekweremadu responded, “He would’ve had basic knowledge. I am not a doctor, so if he says so, I believe him.”

Nevertheless, Davies said, “All you had to do, rather than rely on a second-hand account from non-nephrologists, was to ask one of the specialists you were consulting whether a family member could donate a kidney.”

Ekweremadu, therefore, insisted that he had “limited intelligence,” a claim that was not accepted by the prosecutor, who said, “It’s incredible. You do not lack intelligence.”

Davies then added, “The fact is you didn’t even try to ask Sonia’s cousins, for example, to consider acting as a donor.

“What you’re saying is you had no intention of anyone in your family – immediate or extended – stepping up to donate a kidney to Sonia.

“Far better to buy one and let the medical risk go to someone you don’t know.”

In response, Ekweremadu said it ‘wasn’t true’, adding that he agreed to acquire a donor by going through agents for the task.

Meanwhile, Ekweremadu will remain in custody while the trial of his family and a medical “middleman”, Obinna Obeta, continues at the Old Bailey house in London.

Ailing Sonia Ekweremadu Appears In UK Court With Parents Over Organ Harvesting Charges

Sonia Ekweremadu, daughter of a former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike, on Monday, November 7, 2022, appeared before a court in the United Kingdom over an accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

The 25-year-old is accused alongside her father Ike, 60; mother, Beatrice, 56; and 50-year-old doctor Obinna Obeta. They are all charged with conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, Daily Mail reports.

It is alleged they conspired together, with others unknown and with another family member Isaac Ekweremadu, to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old with a view to exploiting him between 1 August 2021 and 5 May this year.

They facilitated his travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys, it is claimed. Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told. Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.

They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking. The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.

After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave’. He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.

Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, and his wife Beatrice were arrested in the UK on 21 June after flying into Heathrow from Turkey. Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively. They did not appear at court today.

Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court today wearing a black head-wrap and long black coat. Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother. The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place today because of further legal argument.

The trial has been brought forward from May to 31 January next year at the Old Bailey. The trial will last four weeks and a High Court judge will preside over the hearing. The Ekweremadus and Obeta will next appear at the Old Bailey on 16 December this year.

Source: Daily Post

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