Homeless man ‘turned up at police station to accuse Nigerian senator and his wife of trafficking him into the UK to transplant his kidney into their sick daughter’
- Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, stand accused
- Homeless man, 21, accuses them of trafficking him to UK to harvest his kidney
- Alleged victim said organ swap was to save their daughter from kidney failure
A homeless man turned up at a police station to accuse a Nigerian senator and his wife of trafficking him into the UK to transplant his kidney into their daughter, a court heard today.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, are charged with bringing the 21-year-old to London from the streets of Lagos in order to harvest his organ.
They are accused of plotting to traffic him to transplant his organs to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure.
Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court wearing a grey tracksuit.
His wife Beatrice wore a floral dress under a long dark coat.
Beatrice is charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation, between August 1, 2021, and May 5, 2022, under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, denied all of the charges
Ike is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
Prosecutor Mr Tim Probert-Wood said the case involved ‘exploitation and the harvesting of an organ.’
He said: ‘The case began on May 5 2022 when the complainant presented himself at Staines Police Station and claimed he had been transported to this country for the purpose of his kidney being removed.
‘He arrived on February 20 2022 and was taken to Royal free hospital where tests were conducted.
‘For the purpose he was there he did not consent to the taking of his kidney.
‘He returned to the house he was staying and his treatment changed dramatically.
Ike Ekweremadu and wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu will face a trial later this year
‘He described being treated effectively as a slave.’
The victim escaped the address and was homeless for three days before he turned up at Staines Police Station.
Ike and Beatrice were arrested in the UK on June 21 after flying in to Heathrow from Turkey.
Ike was said to be in possession of $20,000 (£16,700).
Martin Hicks, QC, defending Ike, said: ‘We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so.
‘The argument will be factual denial.’
The investigation was launched by the Met’s Specialist Crime team after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.
The Met Police has confirmed that the man is safe and being looked after.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Judge Tan Ikram told the couple they will face a plea and trial preparation hearing at the Old Bailey next month.
‘You will appear at the Central Criminal Court on August 4. You will remain in custody for the same reasons as before.’