Foreign

Organ Harvesting: Ex-Deputy Senate President, Wife, Arrested in London

A former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate and his wife have been charged with conspiring to transport a boy to the UK in order to harvest organs.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and his wife Beatrice Ekweremadu, 55, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police of the United Kingdom said the 15-year-old alleged victim has been taken into care and that agencies were working to support him.

The defendants are accused of conspiracy to arrange and/or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.

UK Prosecutor, Damla Ayas told the court: “In respect of these offences the Attorney General’s consent is required and the Crown require 14 days for that to be obtained.”

Ms Ayas told the court that most of the alleged offences took place in the UK.

The Ekweremadus, who were arrested two days ago, have been remanded in custody to appear at the same court on 7 July.

A University of Lincoln spokesman, where Senator Ekweremadu was recently made a visiting professor said: “We are deeply concerned about the nature of these allegations but as this is an active police investigation, we cannot comment further at this stage.”

An investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Team took place after detectives were alerted to potential modern-day slavery offences.

Organ-harvesting involves removing parts of the body, often for commercial gain and against the will of the victim.

BBC/Maxwell Oyekunle

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