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Organ Harvest: Prosecutor Insists Ekweremmadu Trafficked 15-Year-Old Boy, Court Adjourns Until July 7



Embattled former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu and his wife, Beatrice’s quest to secure a quick reprieve from criminal prosecution over the organ harvesting charges was dashed on Thursday as the prosecutor, Ms. Aya, insisted that David Ukpo, the young man at the center of the criminal case was actually a 15-year-old and not 21 as he was trying to establish.

After a brief second appearance of the couple at the Uxbridge Magistrate Court in the United Kingdon (UK) on Thursday, the matter was adjourned until July 7, 2022, at the Westminster Magistrate Court, where Suella Braverman, UK Attorney General, will determine whether the matter will be tried in the UK or Nigeria.
Senator Ekweremmadu, it will be recalled, was arrested with his wife on June 12 at the Heathrow Airport and subsequently charged with ”conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting”.

They were alleged to have committed the crime between August 1, 2020, and May 5, 2022. They are facing charges under Britain’s Modern Slavery Act.
However, official bank transactions and traveling documents circulating in the media suggest that Ukpo was 21 years old and that he was contracted by the senator to donate one of his kidneys to Sonia, his ailing daughter.
Ukpo’s age has been a subject of debate since the news of Ekweremadu’s arrest first became public, and several figures have been mentioned by the Nigerian Immigration Service and persons who claim to be closely associated with him.

According to a report by Channels Television, the case was fast-tracked and the senator was in good shape, wore a grey tracksuit, and spoke twice during his appearance to confirm his name and date of birth. The station further reported that his wife Beatrice, who in her defence, asked the court to allow her to appear by his side because she has not seen him since the hearing last Thursday, was not granted such a request.
The prosecutor claims that David Ukpo, who alleged that he was coerced to donate his kidney to the Senator’s daughter, is 15 years. According to court, David was allegedly picked up off the street in Lagos by a criminal gang some months ago with the intention of organ harvesting.

Ekweremadu was remanded in custody as the court argued that he is an influential person, a flight risk and the case involves a child and modern slavery.
The case has been adjourned to July 7 at Westminster Magistrate Court to enable the UK Attorney General, Suella Braverman, to determine whether the case will be tried in the country or Nigeria.
A large delegation from the Nigeria High Commission reportedly attended the session and was sighted at the public gallery alongside the Senator’s two adult children.
On Wednesday, the Senate had said it was sending a delegation to visit Ekweremadu and his wife. Senate President Ahmad Lawan said this after a closed-door session of the lawmakers in Abuja.

He explained that members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs will be traveling to the UK soon.
“There will be a delegation to London to see Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife. A delegation from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate will leave in the next two days for London for that purpose,” Lawan said.
“I want to urge all federal government institutions that can do anything to ensure that justice prevails in this case, that they do so.”
He also said the Nigerian High Commission has engaged the services of lawyers in the UK to defend Senator Ekweremadu. “I had a personal engagement with our Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Alhaji Isola Sarafa, who has done so well to establish contact with our colleague, who has been able to get his team to be in the court at Uxbridge where Ekweremadu was taken to,” Lawan added.
“The high Commission has also been able to provide some consular services that include the engagement of some lawyers who will defend our colleague.

We commend them for giving attention to the issue at stake. Equally, the Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister has been engaged here, so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes steps to provide diplomatic support for our colleague. Because this issue is already in court, we have limited opportunity to discuss beyond what we have done so far.
“But I want to ensure the family of our colleague, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and Nigerians, that the Senate will continue to engage with our ministry of foreign affairs as well as our high commission in London.

The High Commission has done so much but we still expect that it will continue to provide any other further consular services.”
(With Channels TV Report)

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