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A wealthy senior Nigerian politician found guilty of an organ-harvesting plot in the UK has been sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a former deputy president of the Nigerian senate, planned with his family and doctor to traffic a 21-year-old to Britain for an £80,000 kidney transplant.
The plan was to give his daughter, Sonia a kidney after disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University, the Old Bailey in London heard during the hearing in March.
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It is the first conviction of its kind under modern slavery laws in the United Kingdom, and he will now spend several years in prison as a result – although The Africa Report claims he has earned around £300,000 since being held in custody from June, 2022.
Ekweremadu's wife Beatrice, 56, and medical “middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, were also found guilty of conspiring to exploit a young man from Lagos for his body part which they offered him £7,000 for, and will spend four and a half years and 10 years in prison respectively.
During the hearing earlier this year, the Ekweremadus’ daughter Sonia, 25, wept as she was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
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The prosecutor Hugh Davies KC told the court at the time: “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal.
“It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter.
“Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
“Ekweremadu agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact.”
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