“Nobody told me about kidney transplant”- Victim alleges in court during Ekweremadu’s organ harvesting trial

The victim claims that he was not informed about any kidney transplant that needed to be done before being transported to the European country by the Nigerian legislator in the organ harvesting trial of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, before a UK court.

Nobody told me about kidney transplant - Victim alleges in court during Ekweremadu

The 21-year-old street vendor from Lagos claimed that Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, flew him to London so that they could take his organs for their 25-year-old daughter Sonia, who has kidney disease.

The victim testified before an Old Bailey hearing that he had been sleeping on the streets for three nights prior to approaching Staines Police Station in May of last year and asking for assistance.

After jurors saw a photograph of him smiling and sharing a meal with the alleged recipient, Sonia Ekweremadu, the 25-year-old daughter of senior Nigerian politician Ike Ekweremadu, the Old Bailey court heard that he ran away after doctors decided he was not a suitable candidate.

Nobody told me about kidney transplant - Victim alleges in court during Ekweremadu

However, in a body-worn footage shown in court on Tuesday, February 21, he appeared to be crying and distressed when he walked into the police station and spoke to a woman on reception. He told the woman repeatedly he had “no papers” having been brought into the country by a man he met in Lagos.

He said at the police station;

“He carried me to hospital to remove my kidneys. The doctor said I was too young but the man said if you do not do it here he would carry me back to Nigeria and do it there.

“I don’t know anywhere, I don’t know where I am. I was sleeping three days outside around, looking for someone to help me, save my life.”

Addressing jurors, he said; 

“Nobody told me about kidney transplant.”

In a video-taped interview, he told police he was treated like a “slave” at the house in London where he was staying. He claimed he was told he had to go ahead with the operation in exchange for N1.2 million (around £2,000).

The victim added; 

“I was afraid because I don’t know what they are going to do to me.”

Prosecutors also told the court that though the victim was given money, he had nowhere to stay so decided to ask for directions to a police station.

Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, Sonia, 25, and medical “middleman” Obinna Obeta, 50, are charged with conspiring to arrange or facilitate the travel of the young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation.

The Ekweremadus who have an address in Willesden Green, north-west London, and Obeta, from Southwark, south London, deny the charge against them and the Old Bailey trial continues.

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