Ike Ekweremadu, a Nigerian politician, his wife, and a doctor have been sentenced for conspiring to traffic a market trader to the UK for organ trafficking. Ekweremadu, along with his wife and medical middleman, Dr. Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of a conspiracy to bring the man to Britain from Lagos for his kidney.
They were sentenced on Friday, with Ekweremadu receiving nine years and eight months, Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, while Obeta received a ten-year prison term.
The case marked the first time that defendants have been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy.
The 21-year-old street trader was to be rewarded for donating the organ to Sonia Ekweremadu in an £80,000 private procedure at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
The prosecution claimed that the donor was offered up to £7,000 along with the promise of a better life in the UK. Although it is lawful to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if money or another material advantage is rewarded.
The donor, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had a limited understanding of why he was there and was visibly relieved at being told the operation would not go ahead.