Organ Trafficking: Pro And Anti Ekweremadu Protests In U.K.
The human trafficking case against a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, resumed in a London court on Tuesday.
However, anti- and pro-Ekweremadu protests were staged in front of the court ahead of the proceedings.
AFP reported that before court proceedings, there was a gathering of protesters, some of whom were in support of the lawmaker while others were against him.
The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested alongside his wife at Heathrow Airport in London on the
allegation that they flew a young man from Nigeria to the UK to harvest his organ.
The allegation added that the organ was meant for Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, who is currently hospitalised with a kidney-related illness.
Some Nigerians had in October 2022 protested in Abuja against the continued detention of the lawmaker who has now spent 223 days in the custody of UK authorities.
Protesters, once again, gathered at the court on Tuesday to either support the embattled lawmaker or protest his continued detention in UK custody.
“I mean, this case is unbelievable,” one protester, Citizen Gbola, was quoted by AFP as saying.
“Where else in the world would you have a deputy senate president, who is still a serving senator, he’s still getting his regular wage?”
According to Daily Mail, Sonia couldn’t make it to court on Tuesday but sought permission with a psychological report by her team claiming she was not fit to stand trial.
She had pleaded not guilty to the allegation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself, when she appeared in court on November 7, 2022.
The young man, who levelled the allegation against the Ekweremadus, told Staines Police Station that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.
A 50-year-old medical doctor from South London, Obinna Obeta, was also arrested in connection to the allegation.
During proceedings at the Old Bailey court, Ekweremadu who wore a grey tracksuit top only said “Yes, miss” when asked to confirm his name.
Seated beside the lawmaker in the dock and dressed in black was his wife who was granted bail in July 2022 while her husband was said to be a flight risk.