Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, were on Thursday found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate and arrange travel w
Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, were on Thursday found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate and arrange travel with the aim of exploitation charge by an Old Bailey jury.
However, Sonia their daughter was found not guilty.
The fourth defendant, Dr Obinna Obeta was also found guilty.
After the judge had discharged the jury and the court had ended, Ekweremadu then went and put his arms around his daughter and wife. All three embraced for about a minute. Sonia continued crying. \
The Senator had a brief chat with his wife, and when he later looked up to wave at his sons and family and friends, he too had a tear in his eyes.
Ekweremadu and his wife were later led out of the dock by security guards.
In the public gallery, tears also flowed freely from two female family members. Though the senator’s two sons looked dejected and shocked as the guilty verdicts were announced, both kept their emotions tight.
Afterward, family and friends rallied round them outside the court and asked them to stay strong.”
Sonia was still in tears outside court, but was soon escorted away by family and friends.
Her barrister, John Femi Ola, KC, had a tear in his eyes outside the court as he hugged one of the senator’s sons.
Though all friends and family had been eagerly waiting for the trial to come to a conclusive end, none expected it to be very early on Thursday.
The Ekweremadus were arrested in London last year and had been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the 21-year-old victim, David Ukpo, about their plans to harvest his organ.
The young man, a trader from Lagos state, was to be rewarded for donating a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The UK modern slavery act 2015 frowns on human trafficking under which organ harvesting falls.
According to the human trafficking offence in Section 2, subsection 1 of the modern slavery act 2015, a person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to being exploited.
In section 2, subsection 7, the law states that a person who is not a UK national commits an offence under this section if any part of the arranging or facilitating takes place in the United Kingdom, or the travel consists of arrival in or entry into, departure from, or travel within, the United Kingdom.
The penalties under the Act in section 5 subsection 3 states that, “a person guilty of an offence under section 1 or 2 is liable, (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life (b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine or both.”
Section 5 subsection 2 also states that, “a person guilty of an offence under section 4 is liable (unless subsection 3 applies), (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, (b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine or both.”