Ekweremadu absent, wife, daughter present as court shifts case again

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Sonia Ekweremadu, the daughter of Ike Ekweremadu, appeared in court on Monday accused of trafficking a homeless man into the United Kingdom to harvest his organs for herself, the Daily Mail of UK reported on Monday.

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Sonia Ekweremadu, 25, is accused alongside her father, Ike, 60, her mother, Beatrice, 56, and 50-year-old doctor, Obinna Obeta.

They are all charged with conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.

It is alleged they conspired together, with others unknown and with another family member, Isaac Ekweremadu, to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old with a view to exploiting him between 1 August 2021 and 5 May this year.

They facilitated his travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys, it is claimed.

Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told.

Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.

They were arrested after the young man, who claimed to have lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking.

The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.

After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave’.

He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.

Ekweremadu, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, and his wife Beatrice were arrested in the UK on 21 June after flying into Heathrow from Turkey.

Ekweremadu and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively.

They did not appear in court on Monday.

Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court on Monday wearing a black head-wrap and long black coat.

Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother wearing a knitted, patterned sweater vest.

The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place on Monday because of further legal argument.

Consequently, the provisional trial of Ekweremadu, who is in prison custody in the United Kingdom, has been rescheduled from May 2023 to January 31, 2023.

“CBN"

A plea and case management hearing that was initially scheduled for October 31 this year has been moved to December.

From the recent development on the case in court on Monday, the UK court will now hear arguments in Ekweremadu’s case in December while the trial will be held on January 31, 2023.

Ekweremadu, who currently represents Enugu West Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate and his wife are facing trial for plotting to traffic a man to the UK and harvest his organs for their daughter.

The trial has been brought forward from May to 31 January next year at the Old Bailey.