The trial of former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu continued on Monday at the Old Bailey court in Central England, the United Kingdom.
Ekweremadu is standing trial for allegedly plotting to harvest the kidney of a 22-year-old street trader. Also being tried alongside the Nigerian lawmaker are his wife – Beatrice, 25-year-old daughter Sonia, and a doctor, Obinna Obeta.
They are accused of conspiring to exploit the man for his organ.
Four accused persons appeared in London’s famous Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, for the start of the trial, after previously pleading not guilty. They face life imprisonment if convicted.
In Britain, it is legal to donate a kidney, but not for reward. Prosecutors say regardless of whether the Lagos street trader gave his consent, a crime was committed by the wealthy Nigerians.
At the continuation of the trial on Monday, Channels Television’s correspondent, Juliana Olayinka who witnessed the proceedings said the victim told the court the version of his story.
The court’s gallery was filled with people who were eager to monitor the events in the temple of justice.
Speaking through an interpreter, the victim said he arrived in the UK on February 20, 2022, to provide his kidney to Sonia Ekweremadu.
“For the first time ever, we have been hearing from a key witness which is a 22-year-old alleged victim who has been giving his own testimony via a video link. He has been speaking through an interpreter,” Olayinka said.
“Today marks the actual day, this time last year, that he arrived in London. We know what happened after that arrival if you have been following this case extensively.
“He, of course, was to come to the United Kingdom to provide his kidney for Sonia Ekweremadu who suffers from a severe significant kidney disease.”
Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice were arrested by the British police on June 23 last year on allegations of human trafficking and organ harvesting that violate the country’s Modern Slavery Act.
The Ekweremadus and the doctor are accused of conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, under UK legislation on modern slavery.
Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly planned to have a kidney removed from the man so that it could be given to Sonia.