A United Kingdom court has sentenced former Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Ike Ekweremadu, to nine years and eight months in prison for an organ trafficking plot.
The court also sentenced his wife, Beatrice, to four years six months while the medical doctor who acted as a ‘middleman’ in the plot, Dr Obinna Obeta, was sentenced to 10 years and his medical licence was also suspended.
The sentences were handed down on Friday.
The trio had been found guilty in the Old Bailey in March.
Sonia, the Ekweremadus’ daughter, who has a serious kidney condition, wept as she was cleared of the same charge.
Mr Justice Johnson told the defendants: “In each of your cases, the offence you committed is so serious that neither a fine nor a community sentence can be justified.”
It was alleged that the 21-year-old street trader was to be rewarded for donating the organ to Sonia Ekweremadu in an £80,000 private procedure at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
The case marked the first time defendants have been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy.
While it is lawful to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if money or another material advantage is rewarded.
The prosecution claimed the donor was offered up to £7,000 and promised a better life in the UK.
The donor did not understand until his first appointment with a consultant at the hospital that he was there for a kidney transplant, the Old Bailey was told.