Spread the love

Faith Nyasuguta 

A London court has jailed a rich Nigerian politician alongside his wife and a doctor for trafficking a street trader from Lagos to the United Kingdom to illegally harvest his kidney for a transplant for their seriously ill daughter.

Last Friday, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Ike Ekweremadu had been sentenced to nine years and eight months in the UK’s first illegal organ-harvesting prosecution, while his wife Beatrice, 56, was sentenced to four years and six months.

Described as the middleman, Nigerian doctor Obinna Obeta, 51 was jailed for 10 years, the CPS said. The trio was  convicted in March of conspiring to arrange the travel of a man in order to harvest his organs.

Beatrice Ekweremadu (R), wife of Nigeria’s former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu /AFP/

Mr Justice Johnson pointed out that Ike Ekweremadu had been part of the Nigerian senate when it outlawed organ trafficking.

Addressing Ekweremadu the judge said: “You played a leading role in the offending. You did so in order to secure the material advantage, namely a human kidney for your daughter. I am sure that you were the driving force throughout.” He added: “Your conviction represents a very substantial fall from grace.”

In reference to the bribing of a medical secretary at the Royal Free, the judge said: “You were involved in the corruption of a member of hospital staff.” The judge said Ekweremadu must serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison and the remainder released under licence.

Earlier in the week, President of the Nigerian Senate Ahmad Lawan said he had written to the British judicial authorities seeking clemency for Ekweremadu – an opposition senator and former deputy president of the Senate – on behalf of the Senate.

Ike(L) and Beatrice Ekweremadu /Street journal/

He noted, “It was the first time our colleague is getting involved in this kind of thing.”

According to prosecutors, the couple had brought the man to the UK in February 2022 with the offer of a few thousand pounds for his organ and the promise of work in the UK.

The case came to light when the man, who had made a living in Lagos selling telephone parts in a market, went to police saying he had been trafficked and someone was trying to harvest his kidney.

The proposed transplant did not go ahead as a consultant at London’s Royal Free Hospital became suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the proposed donor, aged about 21 who cannot be named for legal reasons, who the family had tried to pass off as their daughter’s cousin.


On the other hand, Sonia Ekweremadu, the intended recipient of the organ and who has a serious and deteriorating kidney condition requiring dialysis, was found not guilty.


About Author

Faith Nyasuguta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *