The trial of a Nigerian senator who tried to bring a 21-year-old to Britain to “steal” his kidney has begun

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The 60-year-old former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate is accused along with his wife of transporting a 21-year-old to Britain to remove his kidney and transplant it into their daughter

Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu is on trial in a London court starting today on charges of attempting to remove a young man’s kidney to transplant it into his sick daughter.

The 60-year-old former deputy president of Nigeria’s Senate is accused along with his wife, Beatrice Nwaneka Ekweremadu, 56, of transporting a 21-year-old to Britain to have his kidney removed and transplanted into their daughter Sonia, 25.

Before the court at the Old Bailey Ekweremadu said only the phrase “Yes ma’am” to confirm his identity. Sonia, who is also on trial in the same case, was not present in court because she is hospitalized for undisclosed reasons. Her lawyers submitted a psychiatric report stating she was unfit to stand trial and the hearing was adjourned until the prosecution heard that report.

The alleged victim, after undergoing medical tests at a hospital in north-west London, refused to consent to the transplant and blew it off to alert the police. The Ekuremandou family was arrested at Heathrow Airport in June 2022. The senator was remanded in custody while his wife and daughter were released on parole.

Charges have also been brought against 50-year-old doctor Obina Obeta.

The trial is expected to last seven weeks.

Ike Ekweremadu was first elected to the Senate in 2003. The case caused an uproar on social networking sites and the Nigerian media. Some expressed their support, others their indignation at the allegations. “This case is unbelievable. Where else in the world would there be a (former) vice president of the Senate who is still a senator, has been in prison for 200 days (…) and still receives his salary?” commented the activist Citizen Gbola, of the organization Take It Back, which defends human rights. “What happens; Why hasn’t his status been suspended?’ asked the activist, who was present in court.

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