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Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Organ Trafficking: "Everybody was taking advantage of my daughter's ill health" - Ekweremadu tells court he thought he was being scammed by doctors

Embattled former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who is facing charges of organ trafficking, on Tuesday March 7, told the court that he thought was being "scammed" by doctors, BBC reported. 

Ekweremadu, 60, is accused of conspiring to facilitate the travel of a 21-year-old man, David Nwamini, to Britain to use him as an organ donor for his sick daughter, Sonia. 
Nwamini, a street trader from Lagos was to be paid up to £7,000 in exchange for a kidney, the Old Bailey heard. 
He was promised opportunities in the UK for helping Mr Ekweremadu's daughter. 
Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, 56, daughter Sonia, 25, and medical "middleman" Dr Obinna Obeta all deny the same charge. 
The street trader was falsely presented as Sonia's cousin in a failed bid to persuade medics at the Royal Free Hospital in London to carry out the £80,000 private procedure, the court was told. 
Giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London on Tuesday, Ekweremadu was asked about an invoice for £8,000 he received via his brother Diwe on 8 February 2022. 
In his message, Diwe wrote he had received a "huge invoice" from a consultant doctor. 
He wrote: "It looks like they're all out to exploit people's unfortunate situation," the court heard. 
The defendant told jurors his view was that he was being "scammed". 
Defence barrister Martin Hicks KC asked: “Why not at this stage say we are being scammed Dr Obeta, end of, stop?”
Mr Ekweremadu replied: "My daughter's life was on the line so if we stop we will be putting my daughter's life in danger. So we just keep moving. “Everybody was obviously taking advantage of my daughter's ill health.” 
The defendant was also asked about an unsigned affidavit dated 19 January 2022 which was recovered from Dr Obeta's home in Southwark, south London, which falsely stated that the proposed donor was Sonia's cousin. 
Mr Ekweremadu told jurors: “I felt embarrassed because that's not true and I told my daughter to ignore the document.” 
He added: “I told her not to sign it... If you sign an affidavit you have to tell the truth.” 
Asked who created the document, the defendant said: “I have no idea.” 
Mr Ekweremadu added his family had written to a court in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to find the origin of the affidavit. 
Mr Hicks told the court: “It's a forgery.” Mr Ekweremadu agreed. 

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