THE daughter of a Nigerian senator has appeared in court Monday accused of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.
Sonia Ekweremadu, 25, is accused alongside her father Ike Ekweremadu, 60, her mother Beatrice Ekweremadu, 56, and 50-year-old doctor Obinna Obeta.
They are all charged with conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.
It is alleged they conspired together, with others unknown and with another family member Isaac Ekweremadu, to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old with a view to exploiting him between 1 August 2021 and 5 May this year.
They facilitated his travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys, it is claimed.
Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told, according to the Daily Mail.
Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.
They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking, the Daily Mail reported.
The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.
After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave.’
He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.
Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, and his wife Beatrice were arrested in the UK on June 21 after flying in to Heathrow from Turkey.
Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh in London respectively. They did not appear at court today.
Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court Monday wearing a black head-wrap and long black coat.
Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother wearing a knitted, patterned sweater vest.
The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place because of further legal argument.
The trial has been brought forward from May to January 31 next year at the Central Criminal Court (popularly known as the Old Bailey) in London.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow, KC, said: ‘We are told that this court is in a position to accommodate the trial…three months earlier.
‘If an earlier date can be offered, and one can be, then it should be taken.’
The trial will last four weeks and a High Court judge will preside over the hearing.
The Ekweremadus and Obeta will next appear at the Old Bailey on December 16 this year.