Ekweremadu in further trouble as UK Court adjourns case till Oct 31

Ekweremadu in further trouble as UK Court adjourns case till Oct 31

The Central Criminal Court in the UK, on Thursday, August 4, adjourned the alleged organ harvesting case involving Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy president of the senate.

The judge handling the case is going to hear pretrial applications on October 31; but the trial will commence fully on May 2, 2023.

The former Deputy Senate President and Beatrice, his wife, are facing charges; bordering on conspiracy to arrange/facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

The couple were arrested by London Metropolitan Police in June and appeared before a magistrate court in July.

Ekweremadu’s wife was granted bail on July 22.

At the court on Thursday, the senator representing Enugu West asked that a new lawyer represent him.

The police had alleged that David Ukpo; the reported victim at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation; is a 15-year-old but the court ruled that he is 21.

The former senator wrote to the UK High Commission in December 2021 to support a visa application for Ukpo.

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In the letter, Ekweremadu said Ukpo was undergoing medical investigations for a kidney donation to Sonia Ekweremadu; his daughter, who is in need of a kidney transplant.

He said both Ukpo and Sonia will be at the Royal Free Hospital London.

Ekweremadu’s appearance in the UK court is the third time since his arrest.

Prosecutors had said that the couple has a daughter with a kidney-related disease; who has been on dialysis for quite some time. The British authorities believe the plan was to use an organ from the boy on their daughter who needs a kidney transplant.

Though the alleged victim of trafficking, David Nwamini, claimed he was 15 and was coerced by the Ekweremadus into donating his kidney, the Nigerian government provided records to prove that Nwamini was 21 years old, and not a minor.

Temporary respite came for the Ekweremadus as the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that the alleged trafficked victim is not a minor.

Despite the ruling, the lawmaker still faces charges of conspiring to traffick a person for organ harvesting in violation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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