Organ Harvesting: UK doctor who assisted Ike Ekweremadu with David Ukpo's travels charged

A medical doctor who assisted a wealthy Nigerian senator with the arrangement and alleged trafficking of a homeless man into the UK for a kidney transplant has been charged.

Obinna Obeta,50, from Southwark, South London, is charged under the Modern Slavery Act with arranging the travel of a 21-year-old man for exploitation between August 2021 and May 2022.

Ike Ekweremadu and Beatrice Ekweremadu
Ike Ekweremadu and Beatrice Ekweremadu

David Ukpo, who is at the centre of the organ harvesting scandal, had been approached in Nigeria to donate a kidney to the Senator's daughter, who is currently on dialysis in the United Kingdom.

David claimed he was underage, but recanted after Nigerians dug up his passport and NIN details on social media.

Ekweremadu, 60 - a lawyer and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate - is being accused of arranging the trafficking of David with the intention of harvesting his organs.

Prosecutor claimed that Ekeremadu and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, planned to have David's kidney removed after he had objected.

According to the prosecutor, David had refused to consent after he underwent a series of tests at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North-west London.

The alleged organ donor claimed he was treated like a slave before he escaped to Staines police station in Surrey to report his ordeal.

The police arrested Ekweremadu and his wife on June 21 while the couple was returning from Turkey before they were made to appear at Old Bailey.

Ekweremadu and his family have denied the accusations of criminal conspiracy and alleged exploitation despite the accusation.

Obeta appeared at Bexley Magistrates' Court on July 13, charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with plans to exploit and conspire with Ekweremadu.

According to prosecutor Time Probert-Wood, "The case began on May 5 2022, when the complainant presented himself at Staines Police Station and claimed he had been transported to this country for the purpose of his kidney being removed.

"He arrived on February 20 2022 and was taken to Royal Free Hospital, where tests were conducted.

"For the purpose he was there, he did not consent to the taking of his kidney.

"He returned to the house he was staying, and his treatment changed dramatically.

"He described being treated effectively as a slave."

Ekweremadu's defence lawyer, Martin Hicks, QC, said, "We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so.

"The argument will be factual denial.'

The trio remains in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on August 4.

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