A Nigerian senator and his wife allegedly brought a young man to Britain to harvest one of his kidneys for his daughter and will be tried in Old Bailey, London.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, were charged last month and the organ donor was reported to be a child.
But on Thursday, the Magistrates’ Court in Westminster was told that the individual in question was 21 instead of 15. Nigerian authorities are believed to have provided biodata to reveal his age.
Ekwellemadu has been charged with a plot to arrange or facilitate the travel of others in terms of exploitation, and his wife is responsible for arranging or facilitating the travel of others in terms of exploitation.
The couple were not asked to enter a petition on Thursday, but courts heard they denied the accusation and stated that no criminal plot was involved.
Prosecutors allege that a young man refused to agree to remove his kidneys after being tested at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.
A couple accused of treating an organ donor as a slave
In addition, the couple allegedly treated him as a slave, fled at the Staines police station not far from Heathrow Airport, and reported them.
The couple were arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21, after arriving on a plane from Turkey.
On Thursday, Deputy Chief Judge Tan Ikram said he would detain the pair and appear at a plea and trial preparation hearing at Old Bailey on August 4th.
Ekweremadu served as Vice President of the Nigerian Senate for three terms from 2007 to 2019.
He has been a Senator since 2003 and is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He recently became a visiting professor at Lincoln University.
The accusation was made under the Modern Slavery Act, which was introduced only last month.
British lawmakers have also recently passed a law aimed at preventing British people from participating in forced organ removal as recipients of organs.
Modifications to new ones in the UK Health and care bill According to Health Minister Edward Arger, paying for the supply of organs, trying to find someone who is willing to supply the organs for payment, or initiating or negotiating such a commercial arrangement outside the UK British residents are criminalized.
The amendment was promoted by a backbencher who revealed that it was primarily aimed at organ removal under the Communist regime in China.
PA contributed to this report