We’ve never trafficked, harvested human organs – Ekweremadu, wife tell UK court

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FORMER Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweramadu and his wife Beatrice have denied plotting to traffic a homeless child into the UK in order to harvest his organs.

Ekweremadu, 60, and Beatrice, 55, are charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

Prosecutor Damla Ayas said: “It is a conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences for the purposes of organ harvesting. The victim, in this case, is 15 years old.”

The couple was arrested two days ago on 21 June at Heathrow Airport before they flew to Turkey, the court heard.

Ayas continued: “They were interviewed at the police station. Both of the defendants have provided a prepared statement. Mr Ekweremadu in his prepared statement denied allegations of human trafficking. He said at no stage has he arranged transport for anyone with intention to exploit them.”

The couple, however, denied the allegations.

Gavin Irwin, for the ex-Deputy Senate President, said: “There is no question this is a serious allegation. Mr Ekweremadu is a member of the senate in Nigeria. He has previously held an even more senior role as deputy president of the senate.

“He is a member of the bar in Nigeria.He is a principal in a law firm that bears his name. Those issues taken together go way beyond him being a person of good character…rather that he has led a blameless life as a public servant.”

Irwin added that the allegations were “nothing short of preposterous”.

Antonia Gray, for Beatrice, added: “She has never been complicit or involved in any alleged illegal trafficking of any young person. She is a financial accountant…with an unblemished record.”

Ayas further said: ‘In respect of these offences Attorney General consent is required and the Crown require 14 days for that to be obtained.’

Magistrate Lois Sheard, however, said: “These are serious allegations and these matters are now adjourned until 7 July back here at Uxbridge.”

Sheard remanded both defendants into custody ahead of their hearing next month.

 

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