Journalism of Courage

Alleged organ harvesting: Ekweremadu, wife risk 12 months or life imprisonment

Former Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, risk 12 months or life imprisonment in the UK if found guilty of conspiracy to harvest organs.

Persecondnews had reported that the  senator and his wife were arrested on Thursday by the UK Metropolitan Police and have been charged to court for conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences by bringing a child to the UK for alleged organ harvesting.

The police said in a statement that an investigation was launched into the incident after detectives were alerted to possible crimes being committed under modern slavery legislation.

Persecondnews gathered that the alleged victim is a homeless 15-year-old boy who was brought to the U.K. by the couple for medical investigations for a possible kidney donation to their daughter, Sonia Ekweremadu, who has been suffering from kidney disease and needed a transplant.

The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that sets out a range of measures on how slavery and human trafficking should be dealt with in the UK.

The Act extends essentially to England and Wales, but some provisions relating to modern slavery statements and cross-border pursuit, apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Persecondnews reports that for human trafficking, Section 2 of the MSA states that an individual commits an offense if they arrange or facilitate the travel of another with a view to that person being exploited, adding that It is irrelevant whether that person consents to the travel, or whether they are a child or an adult.

Furthermore, Section 3 of MSA list one of the forms of exploitation to include “the removal of organs where a person is encouraged, required or expected to do anything which involves the commission of an offence under ss 32 or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions on the use of live donors);” as well as securing services etc from children and vulnerable persons.

The Act also states that anyone found guilty of the above-mentioned offences is liable on summary conviction to 12 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

It adds that on conviction on indictment, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

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