7th July, 2022
Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice were denied bail on Thursday as their alleged organ harvesting case came up for hearing at Westminster Magistrate’s court in UK.
Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram remanded them in custody ahead of their next appearance at the Old Bailey, for a plea and trial preparation hearing on August 4.
Old Bailey is the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. It is commonly referred to as the Old Bailey after the street on which it stands.
Ekweremadu, 60 and his wife, 55 are accused of plotting to harvest a man’s kidney.
The couple was alleged to have transported the 21-year-old man from Nigeria to the UK.
Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed so it could be given to their daughter.
The man is said to have refused to consent to the procedure after undergoing tests at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north-west London.
The Ekweremadus allegedly treated him as a slave before he escaped and went to Staines police station in Surrey.
The couple were arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey and appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Ike was said to be in possession of $20,000 (£16,700).
He is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
His wife is charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
The couple were not asked to enter pleas, but the court heard they have indicated not guilty pleas.
They deny the alleged facts and that there was a criminal conspiracy, and will say no exploitation occurred, it was said.
Prosecutor Mr Tim Probert-Wood said the case involved ‘exploitation and the harvesting of an organ.’
He said: ‘The case began on May 5 2022 when the complainant presented himself at Staines Police Station and claimed he had been transported to this country for the purpose of his kidney being removed.
‘He arrived on February 20 2022 and was taken to Royal free hospital where tests were conducted.
‘For the purpose he was there he did not consent to the taking of his kidney.
‘He returned to the house he was staying and his treatment changed dramatically.
‘He described being treated effectively as a slave.’
The victim escaped the address and was homeless for three days before he turned up at Staines Police Station.
Martin Hicks, QC, defending Ike, said: ‘We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so.
‘The argument will be factual denial.’
*Reported by Daily Mail