The London Metropolitan Police Thursday said it arrested a Nigerian national, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, for conspiring to bring a child to the UK for organ harvesting.
In a statement on its website, the Met Police wrote that “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.”
While the description given by the police matches that of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, neither the lawmaker nor his aides have commented on the development as of the time of publishing this report.
But the police added that “both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.
“The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.
“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support. As criminal proceedings are now underway we will not be providing further details.”
According to sources, the case has been adjourned to July 7.
‘Transplant for child’
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the matter has confirmed to Channels Television that the man arrested was indeed the former Deputy Senate President.
According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ekweremadu’s child has been suffering from a kidney disease and needed a transplant.
The source said a donor was gotten and sent to the UK for investigation with the aim of providing a kidney.
However, the source said the kidney did not match that of Ekweremadu’s child.
Subsequently the donor was scheduled to return to Nigeria.
However, according to the source, the donor refused to return to Nigeria and instead reported to the UK police to seek asylum.
‘Very serious issue’
The story is “causing shockwaves, not just in Nigeria, but across the international community,” according to Channels Television’s UK correspondent, Julianna Olayinka.
If it is indeed Ekweremadu, then this “individual was once one of the most powerful politicians in Nigeria,” Olayinka noted, stressing that the matter is “an ongoing investigation.”
“I do believe that this story is likely to pick up over the next couple of days,” she said of what is to come next.
“One of the reasons why is because it’s a big story here in the UK at the moment.
“The Home Secretary, Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are grappling with the migrant crisis.
“And the European Union says one of the real issues is organ harvesting. And a lot of these human traffickers, if they are not able to get these asylum seekers to pay for their illegal travel, then they are using their organs.
“So it’s a very serious issue.”