Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy senate president, and his wife Beatrice were yesterday held in the custody of the UK Police following their arraignment before the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court for an alleged plot to aid another person’s travel for organ harvesting.
Following an investigation by the police’s specialized crime unit, the pair was charged and taken to court, according to a statement from the UK Metropolitan Police confirming their detention.
The Metropolitan Police states that an inquiry into the accusation was started in May 2022 after investigators received information about possible violations of the modern slavery statute.
The police department said in a statement: “A youngster has been secured, and we are coordinating closely with partners to provide ongoing support. We won’t be giving any further information because criminal investigations are now underway.
Beatrice Nwaneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66), of Nigeria, was charged with conspiring to arrange or enable another person’s journey with the intention of exploitation, specifically organ harvesting.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62), of Nigeria is accused of conspiring to set up or aid another person’s travel with the intention of exploitation, specifically organ harvesting. Their court appearance is scheduled for later today (yesterday), and they have both been remanded in custody.
Human trafficking allegations
“It is conspiracy in regard to human trafficking offenses for the purpose of organ harvesting,” prosecutor Damla Ayas said during yesterday’s court session. 15-year-old victim in this incident. At the police station, the couple was questioned. A prepared statement has been given by each defendant.
“Mr. Ekweremadu refuted accusations of human trafficking in his prepared remarks. At no point did he, according to him, arrange transportation for anyone with the aim to take advantage of them. The court was informed that his wife also refuted the accusations in her prepared statement.
Additionally, the prosecution informed the court that “the Ekweremadus’ daughter has a kidney-related condition and has been receiving dialysis for a considerable amount of time. They informed the court that it was thought the boy’s organ would be used on their daughter, who was thought to require a kidney transplant.
Ekweremadu and his wife each had their own legal counsel and asked the court to grant them bail; however, the Magistrate denied their request. The pair has given the UK government their passports.
The pair was detained at Heathrow airport while traveling to Istanbul, Turkey. According to the prosecutors, it is thought that they were looking to buy another organ after failing to successfully harvest the boy’s. Additionally, the prosecutors said that $20 000 was discovered on Ekweremadu.
Sources claim that when the youngster told the physicians at the Royal Free Hospital in the UK the truth about his age, a warning sign appeared that prevented the organ from being harvested. According to reports, the doctor postponed the procedure.
After the youngster fled and made his way to the Police, where an inquiry was launched that resulted in the couple’s arrest, he was taken away from his family, who the prosecutors claim treated him like a slave.
applying for a visa
In a letter dated December 28, 2021, Ekweremadu acknowledged assistance for the visa application by the claimed victim, Ukpo Nwamini David, for the purposes of undergoing medical evaluation in preparation for a kidney donation to Ms. Sonia Ekweremadu.
“I am writing in favor of the visa application made by Mr. Ukpo Nwamini David, who is now undergoing a medical examination in preparation for donating a kidney to Ms. Sonia Ekweremadu. I will be providing the required funding while David and Sonia are at the Royal Free Hospital in London. A statement of my account is enclosed.
hearing in court
“There is no doubt that this is a serious charge,” Ekweremadu’s attorney Gavin Irwin said during the court proceeding. Mr. Ekweremadu represents Nigeria in the Senate. As deputy president of the senate, he previously held a position with much greater authority.
He belongs to the Nigerian bar. A law company bearing his name has him as a principal. When all of those things are considered, he is far more than just a person of high character; rather, he has served the public with no faults. The claims were “nothing short of absurd,” Mr. Irwin continued.
In her opening statement in support of her client, Antonia Gray stated: “Mrs. Ekweremadu has never participated in or been complicit with any alleged criminal trafficking of any young child. She has an impeccable reputation as a financial accountant.
“In respect of these offenses, Attorney General’s approval is required and the Crown require 14 days for that to be achieved,” Ms. Ayas stated in her request for an adjournment.
“These are severe claims, and these things are now delayed until July 7, 2022, back here at Uxbridge,” Magistrate Lois Sheard said in a brief decision. Prior to their hearing, Ms. Sheard ordered the detention of both defendants.
Under the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, Ekweremadu and his wife could receive the maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty (MSA 2015).
Modern Slavery Act of the UK
Part of the law states: “Under section 2, it is illegal for someone to arrange or aid another person’s journey with the intention of exploiting them. Whether or not that individual agrees to the trip, as well as whether or not they are a child or an adult, is unimportant.
Slavery, servitude, and forced labor are all considered forms of exploitation under Section 3 of the MSA 2015, as is sexual exploitation (which involves the commission of a crime under Section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children’s Act of 1978 (indecent photographs of children) or Section Pt. 1 of the SOA 2003 (e.g., rape or sexual assault); and the removal of organs when a person is encouraged, required, or expected to do anything that involves the commission
Additionally, it said that the maximum term for those convicted of human trafficking is life in prison after being sentenced to 12 months in jail and/or an infinite fine following a summary conviction.