Our Reporter, Abuja
Former Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and family doctor, Obinna Obeta, were Friday sentenced to various jail terms by a judge at the Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey, in the United Kingdom, for illegal organ harvesting plot.
They were earlier convicted in March when they were found guilty of flying in a Nigerian man to obtain his kidney for the couple’s sick daughter, Sonia.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Ekweremadu was jailed for nine years and eight months, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment while Obeta received a 10-year prison term.
The three were found guilty of facilitating a young Nigerian man’s travel into the United Kingdom in a bid to obtain his kidney on behalf of Sonia.
The jury said Ekweremadu, his wife and their doctor criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
The conviction is said to be the first under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The sentencing came in spite of pleas from prominent personalities and institutions, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Others who pleaded for clemency on behalf of the Ekweremadus were both chambers of the National Assembly; the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC).