Organ trafficking: Why UK Court Sentenced Ekweremadu To 10 Years Imprisonment
A court sitting in the United Kingdom (UK) has sentenced former Nigerian Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, to nine years and eight months in prison for an organ trafficking plot. His wife also received a four years and six months prison sentence.
The UK Court also suspended the license of the medical doctor who acted as a ‘middleman’ in the plot, Dr Obinna Obeta and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment. Their conviction was the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
What you need to know
Earlier, the UK jury found out that the Ekweremadus criminally conspired to bring a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney. Reports say the young man was falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin as they tried to persuade doctors to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The Ekweremadus allegedly offered the young man an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia after kidney disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University.
Why Ekweremadu was sentenced
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, earlier told the court that “the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the young man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
Davies said Ekweremadu “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
Speaking further, Davies said, “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
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