A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, have been convicted of organ trafficking in the United Kingdom.
A jury found that Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56 and their “medical middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, were guilty of a conspiracy to bring a young man to Britain to give his kidney.
The jury found the senator, his wife and Obeta guilty after a six-week trial.
Their daughter Sonia, 25, wept as jury cleared her of the same charge on Thursday.
They criminally conspired to bring 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney, the jury found.
The victim, a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, told the court the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donours as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
He said they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the man.
The behaviour of Ekweremadu showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”, Davies told the jury.
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The jury said Ekweremadu, who owns several properties and had 80 staff, “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself.
“And made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
Davies added that what he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia.
“It was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter.
“Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty,” the prosecutor argued.
Ekweremadu, who denied the charge, told the court he was the victim of a scam.
Obeta also denied the charge. He claimed Ekweremadu did not offer the man a reward for his kidney and that he was acting altruistically.
Beatrice denied any knowledge of the alleged conspiracy. Sonia did not give evidence.
Meanwhile ,the judge, Jeremy Johnson, will pass sentence at a later date.
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