Landmark case: Politician behind bars after Kidney harvesting conspiracy

European medical milestone as Spanish cardiologists implant wireless pacemaker in a baby

Landmark case. Credit Roman Zaiets /

A wealthy politician has been found guilty at the Old Bailey for planning to harvest a kidney from a poor street vendor to save his daughter.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and medical fixer Dr Obinna Obeta, 51, were sentenced today, Friday, May 5, according to Metro.

The Ekweremadus’ 25-year-old daughter Sonia needed a kidney transplant and they singled out a Lagos street trader to be the unwitting donor.

During the proceedings, which were televised today, Ike Ekweremadu received a custodial sentence of nine years and eight months. His wife Beatrice Ekweremadu was jailed for four years and six months and Obeta for 10 years.

In his denouncement, the judge said ‘People-trafficking across international borders for the harvesting of human organs is a form of slavery.

‘It treats human beings and their body parts as commodities to be bought and sold. It is a trade that preys on poverty, misery and desperation. You each played a part in that despicable trade.’

The victim, who for legal reasons cannot be identified, said he was unaware of what was happening until he was taken to a north London hospital for an initial consultation.

The court heard his statement which read, ‘I would never (have) agreed to any of this. My body is not for sale.’

He also indicated that his life and that of his family had been threatened, ‘I cannot think about going home to Nigeria. These people are extremely powerful and I worry for my family.

‘Even though I live here in the UK at the moment I know I need to be careful too. I have no one here, no family, no friends. I am having to start my life again.

‘I’m worried about my family in Nigeria but I have been told my dad had been visited and was told to drop the case in the UK.’

In what is being dubbed a landmark case this is the first time anyone has been convicted of an organ-harvesting conspiracy under the Modern Slavery Act.

Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy said, ‘the victim of this case, a very brave young man, was exploited due to his vulnerable economic circumstances, by people that were powerful, wealthy, and that exerted control and dominance over him bringing into the UK for purposes of taking his kidney.

UK Police have reported soaring numbers of modern slavery cases in recent years with several cases involving organ harvesting.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.