Former Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka was today arraigned in the UK over accusations of plotting to traffic a homeless child into the UK in order to harvest his organs to give to their daughter who has kidney failure before being arrested at Heathrow with £20,000 in cash,’ court hears
The couple were arrested two days ago on 21 June at Heathrow Airport before they flew to Turkey, the court heard.
Dailymail reports that Ekweremadu, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was spotted wearing a grey sweater while his wife was wearing a black and white knitted cardigan at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court today.
During their arraignment, the prosecutor, Damla Ayas said: ‘It is conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences for the purposes of organ harvesting. 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 has he arranged transport for anyone with intention to exploit them.’
Responding, the legal counsel representing Senator Ekweremadu, Gavin Irwin, said: ‘There is no question this is a serious allegation. 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…rather that he has led a blameless life as a public servant.’
Mr Irwin added that the allegations were ‘nothing short of preposterous’.
According to Dailymail, Ekweremadu’s wife similarly denied the allegations in her prepared statement, the court heard.
Antonia Gray, who represents Mrs Ekweremadu, said: ‘She has never been complicit or involved in any alleged illegal trafficking of any young person.
‘She is a financial accountant…with an unblemished record.’
Meanwhile, the prosecutor made an application to adjourn matters for 14 days.
Ms Ayas said: ‘In respect of these offences Attorney General consent is required and the Crown require 14 days for that to be obtained.’
The magistrate court, however, remanded both defendants into custody ahead of their hearing next month, July 7 in Uxbridge.
AbaCityBlog reports that investigation that led to the arrest of Ekweremadu and wife was launched by the Met’s Specialist Crime team after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.
The Met Police has confirmed that the boy is safe and being looked after.