There are indications that the young man who was to donate a kidney to the daughter of embattled former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was actually over 21 years old.
This is according to information on the data page of the international passport bearing David Ukpo Nwamini, the same name in which Ekweremadu provided an introductory letter in the medical visa application submitted to the British High Commission in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
According to the document seen by DIPLOMATIC DIARY, the date of issuance of the passport is indicated as November 4, 2021 while his Nwamini’s (the donor) date of birth is October 12, 2000; putting the age of the passport holder in question at 21.
However, under British law, being above 18 is not enough. The question of consent is another burden the Ekweremadus will have to discharge.
Senator Ekweremadu was seeking a kidney transplant for his sick daughter, Sonia, and the procedure was scheduled to take place at the Royal Free Hospital in London
The British High Commision duly issued the visa to the supposed donor who later on arrival, reported himself to British authorities that he was held under conditions of slavery. Further investigation on his mission to the UK led to the arrest of Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice, with the Metropolitan Police describing the individual as a minor who was age 15.
Both Ekweremadu and his wife were charged before the Uxbridge Magistrates Court on Thursday. Their request for bail was denied and they are to remain in custody pending the next court date on the 7th of July
The charge against the two borders on conspiracy to arrange the travel of a child into the UK in order to harvest organs.
Earlier on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police published a statement on its website saying:
“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting
“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.
“The alleged victim is this case is homeless 15 year old boy who was brought to the U.K. by Mr and Mrs Ekweremadu off the streets of Lagos Nigeria.”
DIPLOMATIC DIARY had earlier reported that Ekweremadu along with his wife is being charged under the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015).
The MSA 2015 frowns at human trafficking, under which organ harvesting falls, and is punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction.
The act partly reads, “Under s 2, an individual commits an offence if they arrange or facilitate the travel of another with a view to that person being exploited. It is irrelevant whether that person consents to the travel, or whether they are a child or an adult.
“Under s 3 of MSA 2015, exploitation includes: slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; sexual exploitation (which involves the commission of an offence under s 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children’s Act 1978 (indecent photographs of children), or Pt 1 of SOA 2003 (eg, rape or sexual assault); removal of organs where a person is encouraged required or expected to do anything which involves the commission of an offence under ss 32 or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions on the use of live donors); securing services etc by force, threats or deception; securing services etc from children and vulnerable persons (eg, physically or mentally ill or disabled).”
It further stated that anyone found guilty of “human trafficking is liable on summary conviction to 12 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine,” adding that “on conviction on indictment, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.”