More details have emerged over what led to the arrest of former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, in London following allegations of organ harvesting.
It has been alleged that Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, who have four kids and a house in Willesden, North London, travelled to London from Nigeria with a 15-year-old David Ukpo who they allegedly found on the streets, with the hope of harvesting his kidney to be used by his ill daughter.
According to reports, Ekweremadu and his wife, took Ukpo to Royal Tree Hospital in London for medical examination and when he disclosed his age to the doctor, the doctor cancelled the procedure and the boy was taken back into the custody of the couple.
The prosecution alleged that while the boy was in the custody of the couple, he was not treated well, which made him escape from their home, slept on the streets in London for two days and found his way to a police station.
The police commenced an investigation into the case which eventually led to the arrest of Ekweremadu and the 20,000 pounds which was found on the lawmaker was confiscated by the UK authorities.
However, a source close to the couple revealed that contrary to reports that he illegally obtained a 15-year-old homeless boy from the streets, Ukpo, told the couple that he is 21 years old and that he perfectly understood that he was travelling for medical purposes.
“Ekweremadu’s daughter has been sick with a failed kidney and urgently needed a transplant and because her health was rapidly deteriorating, when he was told that there was someone who could be compatible, he readily welcomed the idea.
“Ekweremadu didn’t abduct or coerce him. The young man said he was 21 years old and a passport was gotten for him. However, the lawmaker was not aware that the young man had other plans and had already contacted someone in London who it is believed convinced him to report Ekweremadu to the authorities and accuse him of trafficking.
“The young man went to the UK authorities and claimed he was deceived into coming to the UK and that he is 15 years old. But that is not true as the letter Ekweremadu wrote to the British High Commission clearly states that Ukpo was coming to London for medical purposes,” the source said.
The letter, which accompanied the visa application was dated, December 28, 2021, and seen by Daily Sun, showed the letter Ekweremadu wrote was addressed to the British High Commission with the subject: Medical Visa Application for Ukpo Nwamini David.
It read: “I am writing in support of the visa application made by Mr Ukpo Nwamini David, who is currently having medical investigations for a kidney donation to Ms Sonia Ekweremadu.
David and Sonia will be at the Royal Free Hospital, London and I will be providing the necessary funding. I have enclosed a statement of my bank account. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require additional information.”
At the Uxbridge Court, while reading out the charges, the prosecutor, Damla Ayas, said: “It is a conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences for the purpose of organ harvesting. The victim in this case is 15 years old.
The couple were interviewed at the police station. Both of the defendants have provided a prepared statement.
Ekweremadu in his prepared statement denied allegations of human trafficking. He said at no stage has he arranged transport for anyone with the intention to exploit them.”
Gavin Irwin, who represents Ekweremadu, told the UK authorities that his client is innocent and not guilty of any wrongdoing.
He said: “There is no question that this is a serious allegation. Ekweremadu is a member of the Senate in Nigeria. He has previously held a senior role as deputy president of the Senate. He is a member of the bar in Nigeria and is a principal in a law firm that bears his name.
“Those issues taken together go way beyond him being a person of good character, rather he has led a blameless life as a public servant.”
The lawyer for Mrs Ekweremadu, Antonia Gray said: “She has never been complicit or involved in any alleged illegal trafficking of any young person. She is an accountant with an unblemished record.”