Former Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and a medical middleman Dr. Obinna Obeta, were on Friday, 5th May, 2023, sentenced to jail in the United Kingdom, for conspiring to traffic a market trader, to harvest his kidney.
Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and 25-year-old daughter Sonia stood trial accused of a conspiracy to bring David Ukpo to Britain from Lagos for his organ.
Their daughter, Sonia who has a serious kidney condition, and takes dialysis weekly, declined to give evidence but it was said on her behalf she knew nothing of a reward offered to donors.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Ekweremadu was handed a nine years and eight months term, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, while Dr Obeta received a ten years prison term.
The couple, along with medical middleman Dr Obeta, 50, were found guilty in the Old Bailey in March 2023.
According to reports of the ruling, while it is lawful to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if money or another material advantage is rewarded.
The prosecution claimed the donor was offered up to £7,000 along with the promise of a better life in the UK.
The donor did not understand until his first appointment with a consultant at the hospital that he was there for a kidney transplant, the court was told.
According to the consultant, the donor had a limited understanding of why he was there and was visibly relieved at being told the operation would not go ahead.
It was claimed the donor was falsely presented as Sonia Ekweremadu’s cousin in a failed attempt to persuade medics to carry out the procedure at the Royal Free Hospital.
Story: Hilda Katu