Nigerian senator, his wife, and London doctor accused of plotting to harvest man’s organs in UK

Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife, 55, and London doctor appear at court ahead of trial accused of plotting to traffic a man to the UK and harvest his organs

  • Mr and Mrs Ekweremadu and Obinna Obeta to face trial at the High Court in May
  • The man who was brought from streets of Lagos was allegedly treated as a slave
  • Trio appeared at the Old Bailey today ahead of their plea hearing on October 31

A wealthy Nigerian politician, his wife and a London doctor face a provisional trial next May on charges linked to an alleged organ-harvesting plot.

Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a lawyer and district senator for the People’s Democratic Party in Nigeria, his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, an accountant, and Obinna Obeta, 50, a doctor, are accused of the organ-harvesting plot after allegedly taking the man off the streets of Lagos, Nigeria.

Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north west London, so it could be given to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure.

The man is said to have refused to consent to the procedure after undergoing tests. 

The Ekweremadus, from Willesden Green, north-west London, allegedly treated him as a slave before he ‘escaped’ and went to Staines police station in Surrey.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between between August 1 last year and May 5. 

Wealthy Nigerian politician Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (pictured together) and London doctor Obinna Obeta, 50, face a provisional trial next May on charges linked to an alleged organ-harvesting plot

Wealthy Nigerian politician Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (pictured together) and London doctor Obinna Obeta, 50, face a provisional trial next May on charges linked to an alleged organ-harvesting plot

The couple were arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey.

Ike Ekweremadu and Obinna Obeta, from Southwark, south London, are charged with conspiring to arrange or facilitate the travel of a man with a view to him being exploited.

Mrs Ekweremadu and Obeta are charged with arranging the travel of the man with a view to him being exploited.

On Thursday, Mrs Ekweremadu, who is on bail, appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea and directions hearing, with Ekweremadu and Obeta also attending by video link from Wandsworth and Belmarsh prisons.

The defendants were not asked to enter pleas during the hearing and spoke only to confirm their identities.

Judge Richard Marks QC said the case would be heard by a High Court judge.

The trio are accused of the organ-harvesting plot after allegedly taking the man off the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Pictured, Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a lawyer and district senator for the People's Democratic Party in Nigeria

The trio are accused of the organ-harvesting plot after allegedly taking the man off the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Pictured, Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a lawyer and district senator for the People’s Democratic Party in Nigeria

He identified a provisional trial from May 2 next year with an estimated length of three to four weeks.

A further plea and case management hearing was rescheduled for October 31.

The judge granted Mrs Ekweremadu continued conditional bail and remanded the male defendants into custody.

Prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood said previously that the case involved ‘exploitation and the harvesting of an organ.’

He said: ‘The case began on 5 May 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.

Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north west London, so it could be given to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure. The Ekweremadus (pictured), from Willesden Green, north-west London, allegedly treated him as a slave before he 'escaped' and went to Staines police station in Surrey

Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north west London, so it could be given to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure. The Ekweremadus (pictured), from Willesden Green, north-west London, allegedly treated him as a slave before he ‘escaped’ and went to Staines police station in Surrey

‘He arrived on 20th February 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.

‘He described being treated effectively as a slave.’

Martin Hicks, QC, defending Ike, has said: ‘We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so.

‘The argument will be factual denial.’

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