The trial of former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, continued on Tuesday at the Old Bailey court in Central England, the United Kingdom, where he is standing trial over an alleged plot to h@rvest the kidney of a 22-year-old street trader, David Ukpo.
The lawmaker is being tried alongside his wife – Beatrice, 25-year-old daughter Sonia, and a doctor, Obinna Obeta. They are accused of conspiring to exploit the man for his organ. It would be recalled that the lawmaker was in June 2022, arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.
The alleged victim told the court that he had slept on the streets for three days after doctors at a London hospital told him he would not be a suitable donor following preliminary tests. He then walked into a police station last May and said he was “looking for someone to save my life”, the court heard. In body-worn footage shown to jurors, the trafficked victim appeared to be crying and distressed when he walked into the police station.
In previous testimony, the victim alleged that he was recruited by a doctor working for the politician. He told jurors he thought he was coming to the UK to work and only realized it was for a kidney transplant when he was taken to London’s Royal Free Hospital. The young man was “shocked”, felt like crying, and told jurors, “Nobody told me about kidney transplant.”
“He carried me to the hospital to remove my kidneys. The doctor said I was too young but the man said if ‘you do not do it here he would carry me back to Nigeria and do it there,’” he said.
He told the court that he would be paid around £2,000 (N1.2m) for the operation and that he had been coached to tell doctors he was part of the Ekweremadu family.