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BREAKING: Ekweremadu Sentenced To 10 Years Imprisonment For Organ Trafficking

A former Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has been sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison in the UK for organ harvesting.

He was sentenced for being the “driving force” in a plot to harvest a kidney for his sick daughter from a young man he had trafficked to London.

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.”

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

READ ALSO: Pomp, Protests As UK Holds First Coronation In 70 Years

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.

Nigeria’s senate and the Economic Community of West African States had urged the judge to show clemency to Ekweremadu, a political ally of the former president Goodluck Jonathan.

Beatrice Ekweremadu was sentenced to four years and six months, with half spent in custody. Obeta, who helped organise the organ harvesting plot after himself receiving a kidney transplant at the Royal Free in July 2021 from another man allegedly trafficked from Nigeria, was sentenced to 10 years, two-thirds of which must be served in prison.

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