Parliament Fact File: 18 Facts about Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s conviction

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It is common news that a 3-time Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife have been facing charges in London over alleged #organharvesting in the UK. This week, we highlight 18 Facts leading to Wednesday’s conviction of the Enugu lawmaker and his wife.



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Born: May 12, 1962

Education: PhD in Law, University of Abuja, Nigeria, Visiting Professor, University of Lincoln

Executive Chairman, Aninri Local Government Council. United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) – 1997

Legislature: Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019), People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Candidate, Senate Presidency (2005), Spokesperson, Southern Senators’ Forum (2006), Candidate, Deputy Senate Presidency (2019).

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  • Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Information (2003)
    5th National Assembly
  • Deputy President of the Senate (2007 – 2019)
    6th, 7th and 8th National Assembly
  • First Deputy Speaker
    Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament
  • Speaker, Third Legislature (August 2011 – August 2015)
    Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament

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  1. The London Metropolitan Police were alerted to a potential offence of organ harvesting under Section 2 Modern Slavery Act 2015 in May 2022.
  2. The Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Team launched an investigation, after which they arrested Ekweremadu (60) and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka (56) at Heathrow Airport on 21st June 2022 upon arrival from a Turkish flight.
  3. They later arrested Dr Obinna Obeta (51), who was described as ‘the medical middleman’ at his home address, Hillberk Close, Southwark, on 12th July 2022.

  4. Along with their ailing daughter, Sonia (25), who was diagnosed of a serious kidney condition in 2019, they were all charged with the offence of conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation – organ harvesting.
  5. They were remanded in custody and appeared at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court while the victim, David Ukpo Nwamini (21), a Lagos street trader, was being safeguarded by the British Authorities.
  6. The alleged donor was made to believe he was being brought to the UK to earn money for his family but was being trafficked for the purpose of having his kidney removed and then donated to Sonia Ekweremadu.

  7. The victim was brought to the UK on 20th February 2022, in the company of Isaac Onwudiwe Ekweremadu, and taken to Obeta’s flat in Southwark ahead of his first medical screening at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
  8. The victim falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin was offered up to £7,000 along with the promise of a better life in the UK but did not understand until his first appointment with a consultant.
  9. The court heard that a consultant at the Hospital concluded that the donor was not an appropriate candidate, having learnt he had no counselling or advice about the risks of the over £80,000 surgery and also lacked funds for the lifelong care he would need.

  10. A long-standing staff member at the Royal Free Hospital who spoke Igbo allegedly enlisted for £1,500 also offered to act an “interpreter” at the donor’s rescheduled hospital meeting on 24 February 2022.
  11. The donor, who was returned to Dr Obeta’s address in South London, claimed to have been treated as a ‘slave’ before escaping the property.
  12. He found his way to Staines Police Station, Surrey, on 5th May 2022, having been homeless for around three days.

  13. Upon the failed transplant bid, the Ekweremadus wERE alleged to have turned their attention to Turkey in a bid to find more potential donors.
  14. From their arraignment on 24th June 2022 at the Uxbridge Magistrates Court to their conviction on 23rd March 2023, they pleaded not guilty.
  15. The defendants claimed in their trial they believed the donor was acting “altruistically.” Senator Ekweremeadu added that he had trusted the medical experts but suspected he was being “scammed.”

  16. Sonia, who relies on weekly dialysis, declined to give evidence, but the Court was told on her behalf that she knew nothing about a reward offered to donors.
  17. Chief Crown Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec described their action as “ a horrific plot to exploit a vulnerable victim” after they were found guilty and remanded into custody ahead of their sentence on May 5.
  18. The Ekweremadus case, which could attract a life sentence, marks the first conviction under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy. 

Sources: Met Police, Daily Mail, Independent UK, Sky News, BBC Pidgin

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