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Senator Ekweremadu

23.06.2022 Featured Ekweremadu, Wife Remanded in Police Custody for 14 Days Until ‘Organ Trafficking’ Trial Resumes

Published 23rd Jun, 2022

By Damilola Ayeni

The Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, United Kingdom, has adjourned the trial of Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and his 55-year-old wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, until July 7 to enable it obtain the consent of the country’s attorney-general.

The prosecutor, simply identified as Ms. Aya, applied for the adjournment, noting that the offences the couple was standing trial for required the consent of the attorney-general, a submission Magistrate Lois Sheard, the trial judge, agreed with.

“These are serious allegations and these matters are now adjourned until 7 July back here at Uxbridge,” the judge said.

READ ALSO: Ike Ekweremadu, Wife Arrested in UK ‘for Attempting to Harvest Child’s Organs’

Following investigations by Met Police Specialist Crime team, Ekweremadu, a former Nigerian Senate President and serving senator, alongside his wife, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 12 and subsequently charged with ”conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting”. The crime was said to have been committed between August 1, 2020, and May 5, 2022.

On Thursday, Ekweremadu appeared in court in a grey sweater and his wife in a black and white knitted cardigan.

”It is conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences for the purposes of organ harvesting,” said Aya. “The victim in this case is 15 years old.

“They were interviewed at the police station. Both of the defendants have provided a prepared statement. Mr Ekweremadu in his prepared statement denied allegations of human trafficking. He said at no stage as he arranged transport for anyone with intention to exploit them.

However, Ekweremadu denied the allegations in a prepared statement. Gavin Irwin, his lawyer, said he had been ”a person of good character” and had ”led a blameless life as a public servant”. He also said the allegations were preposterous.

”There is no question this is a serious allegation,” Irwin said. ”Mr. Ekweremadu is a member of the Senate in Nigeria. He has previously held an even more senior role as deputy president of the Senate. He is a member of the bar in Nigeria. He is a principal in a law firm that bears his name. Those issues taken together go way beyond him being a person of good character.”

In defence of Ekweremadu’s wife, Antonia Gray, her lawyer, said she had ”an unblemished record. ”She has never been complicit or involved in any alleged illegal trafficking of any young person,” she said.

Although the couple’s lawyers pleaded that they be allowed to stay at their address on Staverton Road, Willesden, northwest London, till their next court appearance, Sheard ruled that they be remanded in custody.

FIJ understands the Ekweremadus travelled with the minor so he can donate a kidney to their sick daughter in need of a transplant.

Published 23rd Jun, 2022

By Damilola Ayeni

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