Sonia, the daughter of Nigerian lawmaker Ike Ekweremadu who was arrested in the UK, has appeared in court over the allegation of trafficking a young man from Nigeria into the United Kingdom to harvest his organs for her own health.
According to the report, Sonia was accused, alongside her father Ekweremadu, 60, her mother Beatrice Ekweremadu, 56, and 50-year-old doctor Obinna Obeta of conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
It was gathered that Ms Ekweremadu had not entered a plea, but a trial date has been set for January.
They are all charged with conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
It is alleged they conspired 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 facilitated his travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys, it is claimed.
Ekeweremadu’s daughter, Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told.
Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.
They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking.
The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.
After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave’.
He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.
Sonia Ekweremadu and Parents Accused Of Human Trafficking
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 into Heathrow from Turkey.
Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh, respectively. They did not appear in court today.
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 arguments.
The trial has been brought forward from May 2023 to 31 January 2023 at the Old Bailey.