UK Convicts Senior Nigerian Senator Over Plot to Harvest Migrant’s Organs

Nigeria's Vice President Namadi Sambo (R) and Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu stand for the national anthem during the national inter-denominational funeral rites of Nigeria's secessionist leader Odumegwu Ojukwu at Michael Opkara Square in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria, on March 1, 2012. Soldiers fired a 21-gun salute at the …

The former Vice-President of Nigeria’s Senate has been convicted in a UK court of plotting to harvest a migrant’s organs.

The Central Criminal Court in London also reportedly found Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s wife, Beatrice, as well as UK-based doctor Obinna Obeta of being involved in the plot, with the convictions being the first of their kind in Britain.

According to a report by the BBC, the plotters had reportedly coerced a poor migrant from Lagos to travel to the UK, promising him £7,000 (~$8,600) and the opportunity to live a better life in Britain, though reportedly warned him that he would have to undergo a number of medical examinations in Nigeria before he could successfully get a visa to travel.

However, unbeknownst to the man — who had up until this point spent his adult life selling phone accessories from a wheelbarrow — these tests were actually to see if he was suitable for his kidney to be given to the Senator’s daughter, Sonia.

Despite efforts to conceal that the migrant was being paid to donate the kidney via a paid-off Igbo translator, the plot was eventually uncovered by the doctor earmarked to perform the private medical procedure.

Consultant Dr Peter Dupont reportedly found that, despite supposedly being a willing donor for the procedure, the migrant had received no counselling or advice about the risks of surgery, and that he lacked the funding for the lifelong care he would need after donating the organ.

In a later conversation with police, the victim alleged that his traffickers told him that if he did agree to the procedure in the UK they would carry him “back to Nigeria and do it there” instead.

Speaking on the convictions, Chief Crown Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec described the plot as “horrific”, with those involved showing no consideration for the safety of their victim.

“The convicted defendants showed utter disregard for the victim’s welfare, health and well-being and used their considerable influence to a high degree of control throughout, with the victim having limited understanding of what was really going on here,” she said.

Ekweremadu, who formerly served as the vice president of the Nigerian Senate, was then remanded in custody with sentencing scheduled for May 5.

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