ORGAN HARVESTING: IKE EKWEREMADU TO REMAIN IN DETENTION TILL OCTOBER.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on August 4, 2022
A British court has fixed October 31st for the continuation of the pre-trial hearing on the charge of organ harvesting leveled against former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice.
This followed the conclusion of the first hearing on Thursday at the Central Criminal Court – The Old Bailey in London.
Ekweremadu was not in court physically but his wife Beatrice was, along with Obinna Obetta, who was arrested recently for alleged conspiracy. The Ekweremadus are accused of breaching the Modern Slavery Act, legislation passed in 2015.
Section 1 of the law prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced compulsory behavior, while section 2 of the act prohibits arranging and facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
The act further defines exploitation to include the removal of organs. This is what the British prosecutor is pinning on the Ekweremadus.
Their travails began after one David Ukpo Nwamini, presented himself to British authorities on the claim that he was kept under conditions of slavery after refusing to submit himself for a clinical procedure requiring him to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s sick daughter who needed a transplant.
David was taken from Nigeria to the UK for the procedure which was scheduled to take place at the Royal Free Hospital.
He had earlier lied to British Metropolitan Police that he was 15 years old. But documents, including his passport details and other bio-data filled in his documents in Nigeria, showed he is 21 years old.
But the prosecutor Prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood said that the new fact on his age changes nothing as far as the charge against the Ekweremadus are concerned.
Lawyer for the Ekweremadus Martin Hicks insisted his clients are innocent and that there was no exploitation or intent towards exploitation. The pre-hearing commenced on Thursday while the parties agreed to a trial preparation hearing on October 31st, 2022.
Trial preparation is a process of streamlining all material needed for the trial, the facts of the case, the number of witnesses to be called, and other material Information needed to ensure the trial is not delayed once it starts.
When asked whether he intends to bring in more arrests, prosecution counsel said none are planned for now
Ike Ekweremadu is to remain in custody until the trial preparation date.
He joined the proceedings virtually.