Ekweremadu Returns To Custody As Court Adjourns Trial To Oct 31
The Former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, and Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District, Sen. Ike Ekweramadu had been remanded in prison as the organ harvesting case involving him and his wife was today adjourned to 31st of October.
Recall that in June, the Senator and his wife, Beatrice were arrested and charged on conspiracy to arrange/facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
At the court today, the Presiding Judge adjourned for October 31st to hear all pretrial applications while noting that the trial will commence fully on May 2, 2023
Also, the Senator, today in court asked that a new lawyer represent him in the case.
It is reported by a source that the couple – Ekweramadu and his wife, and a doctor, Obinna Obeta appeared in court in-person.
Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was arrested at the Heathrow Airport from Turkey in June.
He was in possession of a diplomatic passport with questions bordering on whether the case contravened the Vienna Convention and Diplomatic Immunity.
Efforts to get information from the Nigerian High Commission UK proved abortive, but it is expected that the lawmaker should be given immunity to face charges in his country.
The case began on May 5 when the alleged trafficked victim handed himself to the police authorities on the grounds that he was being coerced into giving his organs despite being under-aged.
However, the case came to the public knowledge on June 23 after Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested by the Metropolitan Police on arrival into the UK from Turkey.
Prosecutors had said that the couple has a daughter with a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for quite some time. The British authorities believe the plan was to use an organ from the boy on their daughter who needs a kidney transplant.
Though the alleged victim of trafficking, David Nwamini, claimed he was 15 and was coerced by the Ekweremadus into donating his kidney, the Nigerian government provided records to prove that Nwamini was 21 years old, and not a minor.
Temporary respite came for the Ekweremadus as the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that the alleged trafficked victim is not a minor. Despite the ruling, the lawmaker still faces charges of conspiring to traffick a person for organ harvesting in violation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
For the record, at the last sitting, the court ruled that the victim in this case is no longer a minor, meanwhile only Ekweremadu is in custody while his wife had been granted bail.
Adamu Bulkachuwa, Senate committee chairman on foreign affairs, was in court to show support for Ekweremadu.