7th November, 2022
Sonia Ekweremadu, the daughter of the federal lawmaker, Ike Ekweremadu, has been accused of trafficking a homeless man into the United Kingdom to harvest his organs for herself.
Sonia was accused alongside her father, her mother Beatrice Ekweremadu, and doctor Obinna Obeta.
They are all charged with conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
They were accused of conspiring together, with others unknown and with another family member Isaac Ekweremadu, to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old with a view to exploiting him between 1 August 2021 and 5 May this year.
They were accused of facilitating the travel of the 21-year-old from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys.
The 21-year-old however claimed to have escaped and reported the matter to London police.
Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, and his wife Beatrice were arrested in the UK on 21 June after flying in to Heathrow from Turkey.
Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively. They did not appear at court today.
Daily Mail reported that Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court today wearing a black head-wrap and long black coat.
Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother wearing a knitted, patterned sweater vest.
The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place today because of further legal argument.
The trial has been brought forward from May to 31 January next year at the Old Bailey.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow, KC, said: ‘We are told that this court is in a position to accommodate the trial…three months earlier.
‘If an earlier date can be offered, and one can be, then it should be taken.’
The trial will last four weeks and a High Court judge will preside over the hearing.
The Ekweremadus and Obeta will next appear at the Old Bailey on 16 December this year.