Matthew Wright 7am - 10am
Nigerian politician and wife charged over plot to traffic child for organ harvesting in UK
23 June 2022, 14:21 | Updated: 23 June 2022, 14:42
A Nigerian politician and his wife have been charged with allegedly plotting to harvest the organs of a child in the UK.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu. 55, were charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting, following a specialist Scotland Yard operation.
They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.
Scotland Yard has not given the gender or the age of the child, or the location of the arrests.
The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022, the force said.
Ekweremadu, a lawyer, is Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President. His wife, Beatrice, has also been charged.
Ekweremadu has been a politician in the Nigerian parliament since 2003, under the People’s Democratic Party. His wife, five years his junior, is an academic and doctor and is also a well-known public figure in Nigeria. They are understood to have four adult children.
He served three terms as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria from 2007 to 2019.
Media outlets in Nigeria have reached out to Mr Ekweremadu’s spokesman Uche Anichukwu who has not yet issued a response. The People's Democratic Party have declined to comment.
The Met police said in a statement: “A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”
Organ harvesting is a surgical procedure that removes organs or tissues for reuse, typically for organ transplantation.