Barristers & Solicitors
Organ harvesting: Ekweremadu’s daughter denies trafficking homeless man to UK
Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his daughter Sonia

Sonia, daughter of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, has pleaded not guilty to the charge that she conspired with others to traffic a fellow Nigerian to London to harvest one of his kidneys.

The 25-year-old student is charged alongside her 60-year-old father, her mother Beatrice Ekweremadu, 56, and a doctor Obinna Obeta, 50.

Her plea was taken on Friday according to the London Mail.

The other accused persons had earlier denied the same charge.

The prosecution claims the accused conspired with others and another family member who is believed to be still in Nigeria, to arrange the travelling of 21 year-old Ukpo Nwamini David, with a view to exploiting him between August 1, 2021 and May 5, 2022.

The alleged conspirators arranged Ukpo’s travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys for Sonia, who has a kidney-related disease, the prosecution said.

Father and mother were arrested after the young man lodged a complaint with the police in London that he was the victim of trafficking at Staines Police Station.

Ukpo claimed he arrived in the UK on February 20 this year and was taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.

After the tests, he returned to the house he was 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.

The trial is scheduled to commence at the Old Bailey on January 31 before High Court judge Mr. Justice Adam Johnson.

Ike and Obeta are in custody in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively, while Beatrice and Sonia are both on bail.

The couple was remanded last June following their arraignment before the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court for alleged conspiracy to facilitate Ukpo’s travel for organ harvesting.

The UK Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the arrest of the couple came on the heels of an investigation by its specialist crime team.

It said: “A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support. As criminal proceedings are now under way, we will not be providing further details.”