Organ trafficking: UK jails Nigerian senator Ekweremadu — here’s what to know about him
A judge at The Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey in the United Kingdom, has sentenced former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and Doctor Obinna Obeta to jail.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Ekweremadu was jailed for nine years and eight months, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment while Obeta received a 10-year prison term.
The sentencing follows their conviction in March for organ trafficking.
The three were found guilty after arranging or facilitating a young Nigerian man’s travel into the United Kingdom in a bid to obtain his kidney on behalf of the Ekwemeradus’ sick daughter, Sonia.
The jury said Ekweremadu, his wife and their doctor criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
The verdict is considered the first of its kind under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Ekweremadu is a Nigerian lawyer and politician who was born on May 12, 1962, in Amachara Mpu, Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. He studied law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in 1987 and a Master of Laws (LLM) in 1991. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree in Law by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2016.
Ekweremadu began his political career in 1997 when he was elected to represent Aninri Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly. He later served as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Enugu State before being elected to the Nigerian Senate in 2003. He has since been re-elected to the Senate in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.
In the Senate, Ekweremadu has served as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate from 2007 to 2019, making him the longest-serving Deputy Senate President in Nigerian history. He has also held several committee positions, including Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, and has been actively involved in various legislative initiatives and debates.
Outside of politics, Ekweremadu is a prolific writer and has authored several books and scholarly articles on law and politics. He is a member of several professional associations, including the Nigerian Bar Association and the International Bar Association.
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