A United Kingdom (UK) court has sentenced a Nigerian politician, one time Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Ike Ekweremadu, to nine years and eight months (Approximately 10 years) in prison for an organ trafficking plot against an innocent, poor and helpless young Nigerian.
The same court also sentenced Ekerewandu’s wife, Mrs Beatrice Ekweremadu, to four years six months while the liaison medical doctor and the ‘middleman’ in the plot, Dr Obinna Obeta, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment while his medical license was also withdrawn. Ekweremadus’ landmark conviction, first of its kind in UK came as a result of his plot to harvest an human’s kidney for his sick daughter.
The judge, Jeremy Johnson handed Ike Ekweremadu, 60 years old, the sentence for his part in what the judge called, “despicable trade” of taking advantage of the “poverty, misery and desperation” of vulnerable people.
According to the Judge, “People-trafficking across international borders for the harvesting of human organs is a form of slavery. It treats human beings and their body parts as commodities to be bought and sold,” while he described the sentence as a “substantial fall from grace” for Ekweremadu.
The multi-millionaire Nigerian politician was found guilty in March of conspiring to traffic the young street trader into Britain for his body part.
The Ekweremadus’ 25 years old sick daughter, Sonia, broke down in tears back in March as she was cleared of the same charge after a 14 hours deliberation by jurors. On Friday, she waved to her parents as they were led out of the court. Neither of them showed any emotion as they were sentenced. It was the first time organ harvesting conspiracy charges had been brought under the UK’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act. In Britain, it is legal to donate a kidney, but not for financial or material reward.
Detective Inspector Esther Richardson, from the Metropolitan Police’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Command, called it a “landmark conviction” and thanked the victim for his “bravery” in coming forward.