In the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London, the Metropolitan Police stated that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu, conspired to bring a child to the U.K. in order to harvest their organs. The police specifically used the word “child.”
London’s Metropolitan Police told the court that the offence was “with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.”
The Specialist Crime team at Scotland Yard, which deals with serious offenses in the English capital, Cops began their inquiry in May, after being alerted to possible crimes being committed under British modern slavery legislation of 2015.
The child, whose details cannot be revealed to the public due to child protection laws, has been “safeguarded,” the police said.
The media has it that the boy is a child from Nigeria. The boy was believed to be a 15-year-old boy to be used for organ harvesting, which the Senator and his wife, claimed was 21 years old.
In a letter from Ekweremadu, dated December 28, 2021, titled, “Re: Medical Visa Application,” he wrote, “I am writing in support of the visa application made by Mr. Ukpo Nwamini David, who is currently having medical investigations for a kidney donation to Ms. Sonia Ekweremadu.”
Apparently, the doctor at the Royal Free hospital assigned to perform the transplant suspended it after learning that the boy identified was a minor.
It is likely the hospital or concerned people reported that matter to the police as required by law when issues revolve around a minor.
At which time the police launched an investigation after they were alerted to potential modern slavery offenses.
What Nigerians need to know about the case is that they are accused of conspiracy to arrange and/or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
Whether the victim is a child, or an adult is not the point, but possible enslavement for exploitative purposes.
Nigerians need to become familiar with a 2021 Interpol report titled “Trafficking of Human Beings for the purpose of Organ Removal in North and West Africa”. It specifically flagged Nigeria as a country of origin, transit, and destination, for trafficking in persons for organ removal. The report pointed out that organ trafficking exists in all regions of the world, it is of particular concern in North and West Africa, where impoverished communities and displaced populations are at greater risk of exploitation.
The senator is a barrister who should know better. The Nigerian population needs to know that in the 2015 United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act, a section specifically stated that “Under S2, an individual commits an offence if they arrange or facilitate the travel of another with a view to that person being exploited.” It is immaterial whether that person consents to the trip or whether they are a child or an adult.
The Nigeria laws, and the criminal justice system, which include the police and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the law-making body in Nigeria, called the National Assembly, lack specific rules and regulations relating to organ harvesting.
So, Nigeria, where multiple incidents of troubling organ harvesting are taking place in the guise of being seen as ritual murders, remains rampant across the country.
While it is unfortunate that this is happening in the name of Nigeria, a greater lesson for the legislative and executive branches of Nigeria is to learn from the legislation in the U.K. about organ harvesting, which is a surgical procedure that removes organs or tissues for reuse, typically for organ transplantation.
While details about the victim of Ekweremadu remain sketchy, it will be interesting to know more of his actual social, economic, and educational background, as well as his family background, since it is not uncommon for a place like Nigeria with economic hardship to see illegal organ trafficking and coercion.
With Nigeria not having a regulatory body for organ harvesting, in terms of transplantation, and preservation, average citizens, doctors, brokers, and hospitals are involved in the illegal organ trade.
Like the British laws that attacked the Ekweremadu, Nigeria needs specific laws relating to human trafficking offences for the purposes of organ harvesting.
Such laws will stop illegal trading in human organs in hospitals and medical training institutions, and Nigerians will be educated that for transplantations between a living donor and a recipient to take place, they must be guided by laws, and not based on money deals. Lagos State is gradually making headway in developing a legal framework to combat and prevent the illegal removal and transplantation of human organs and tissues. The nation needs laws, policies, training, judicial, and law enforcement instruments to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in human organs.
I want to believe that Ekweremadu, a lawmaker and lawyer, and a former Deputy Senate President, is not, along with his wife, involved in plotting to get a child to the UK to harvest organs, since the physical, psychological, and emotional effects on the child can be very harmful.
The current moment regarding the legal respect of human life and the legal approach to organ use brings me to Ekweremadu’s current relations with the people due to the Obi phenomenon.
I hope Ekweremadu is not confronting his nemesis that is the will of Nigerians—the strongly desired Peter Obi, as Obi represents the new Nigeria. To be against him is to be against the new nation. Through his condescending recent words to Obi, where he noted that voting Obi in the coming presidential election is more like throwing away, he has admitted to being the nemesis of the nation.
Many Nigerians see that as disturbing and going too far. Any Nigerian who works against a new nation could be seen as an adversary to a new nation, which many see can only come via Obi at this time. Ekweremadu is currently on the vendetta list of forward-looking Nigerians. They want to end the old era of the drivers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and replace them with a new hope. Let’s wish the husband and wife well, let’s wish Obi well and hope for a new Nigeria where the rule of law prevails.
John Egbeazien Oshodi was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria and is an American-based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]