Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a district senator and lawyer in the west African country, and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, are alleged to have transported the 21-year-old victim from Nigeria.
Thursday 7 July 2022 17:23, UK
A Nigerian politician has appeared in court charged with planning to harvest the kidney of a 21-year-old man he brought to the UK so it could be given to his daughter.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a district senator and lawyer, and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, are alleged to have transported the man from Nigeria and then to have treated him as a slave.
The 21-year-old victim is said to have refused to allow the procedure to go ahead after he underwent tests at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, northwest London.
The man eventually escaped and went to Staines police station in Surrey.
The couple appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
They had been arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey.
Ike Ekweremadu faces a charge of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, and his wife is charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
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The couple were not asked to enter pleas, but the court heard they had previously indicated they would plead not guilty.
The court heard that they deny the allegations and that any exploitation occurred. They also claimed there was no criminal conspiracy.
The couple were remanded in custody by deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram ahead of their next appearance at the Old Bailey.
There will be a plea and trial preparation hearing on 4 August.
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