August 04, (THEWILL) – The Central Criminal Court, London, has adjourned till October 31, 2022, the case of alleged organ harvesting involving former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife.
Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were arrested by the Metropolitan police on June 21, at Heathrow Airport, after arriving on a flight from Turkey.
The couple were accused of plotting to traffic 21-year-old Ukpo Uwamini David from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, to transplant his organs to their daughter, Sonia Ekweremadu, who is suffering from kidney failure.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a barrister and Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly and Beatrice, 55, an accountant, earlier appeared at the Old Bailey, where his wife was granted bail.
While senator Ike was charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting, Beatrice was charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, between August 1 last year and May 5, under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
At the court on Thursday, Obinna Obeta, who is a practising medical doctor in London, appeared alongside the Ekweremadus.
While the main trial will hold in 2023, a pre-trial is scheduled for October 31, in which the ex-Deputy Senate President, his wife, and Obeta would appear in court.
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.
“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.”
The victim allegedly escaped the address and was homeless for three days, before he turned up at Staines Police Station.
Martin Hicks, QC, defending Ike Ekweremadu had said: “We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so. The argument will be factual denial.”
Earlier, the Westminster Magistrate, Deputy Senior District Judge, Justice Tam Ikram, had made it clear that the complainant, Ukpo Uwamini David was not a minor.