Ike Ekweremadu, former Former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate has been sentenced to 10years in jail for organ trafficking in the United Kingdom. Ekweremadu was sentenced alongside his wife, Beatrice and a Nigerian Doctor, Obinna Obeta on Friday, May 5. The Ekweremadu’s daughter Sonia was cleared of all charges
Beatrice Ekweremadu was sentenced to 6yrs in jail while Dr. Obeta got 10yrs in jail.
The trio had previously been convicted in March by a court at the Old Bailey in London.
The case had started after the trio were arraigned in court for bringing a young Nigerian man to the United Kingdom to donate his kidney for Sonia, who had been diagnosed with a kidney ailment. The victim was allegedly promised to be paid 7,000.
It is a crime to sell your body parts in the United Kingdom and this conviction is the first done under the Modern Slavery Act of the United Kingdom.
Several pleas for leniency from notable personalities were sent to the court on behalf of the Ekweremadus all to no avail. Pleas came from ex President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian National Assembly, Nigerians in Disapora Commission (NIDCOM) etc
It is a very instructive case which serves as a warning to Nigerian politicians and government officials who neglect the critical infrastructure and systems in their home countries to seek healthcare in other countries leaving the local populace to suffer the effects of a crumbling healthcare system.
Many Nigerian politicians and government officials usually have homes and second residences abroad where their immediate family resides. London in particular is favored by many of them for various reasons including proximity and similarity of educational and legal systems.
It is a rather unfortunate situation for the three time Deputy Senate President and five time Senator from Enugu West Senatorial District.