Doctor Charged Over ‘Plot With Ekweremadu And Wife To traffic A Homeless Man To UK And Harvest Kidney’
A doctor has been accused of plotting with a wealthy Nigerian senator and his wife to traffic a homeless man into the UK to harvest a kidney for their daughter, a court heard today.
Obinna Obeta, 50, from Southwark, south London, is charged under the Modern Slavery Act with arranging the travel of a 21-year-old man with a view to him being exploited between August last year and this May.
A second charge alleges he conspired with 60-year-old Ike Ekweremadu – a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate – to arrange or facilitate the travel of the man with a view to him being exploited, namely organ harvesting.
It is alleged Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a district senator and lawyer, and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, brought the 21-year-old man from Nigeria to the UK.
Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed so it could be given to their daughter.
The man is said to have refused to consent to the procedure after undergoing tests at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north-west London.
The Ekweremadus allegedly treated him as a slave before he escaped and went to Staines police station in Surrey.
The couple were arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey and appeared at the Old Bailey today for a bail hearing.
The couple deny wrongdoing or that there was a criminal conspiracy, and claim no exploitation occurred.
Obeta, of Hillbeck Close, Southwark, southeast London, appeared at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on 13 July.
He was charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation and conspiring together with Ike Ekweremadu to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
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.’
All three defendants, who are in custody, are due to appear at the Old Bailey on August 4.