Nigerian politician, Ike Ekweremadu

Nigerian politician, Ike Ekweremadu



Beatrice Ekweremadu and Sonia Ekweremadu

A Nigerian market trader allegedly trafficked to London to provide a kidney walked into a police station and begged for help, a court has heard.

The 21-year-old is alleged to have been the victim of a failed plot for him to donate the body part to a Nigerian politician’s daughter.

He slept rough for three nights before turning up at Staines police station last May, the Old Bailey was told.

Ike Ekweremadus denies breaking modern slavery laws.

The 60-year-old is accused of organising for the man to travel to London and pay him to provide a kidney for his daughter, who requires a transplant.

His wife Beatrice, 56, daughter Sonia, 25, and associate Obinna Obeta, 50, also deny conspiring to arrange or facilitate the travel of the young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation.

The Old Bailey has heard that the proposed donor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, ran away after doctors at the Royal Free Hospital decided he was not a suitable candidate.

In body-worn footage shown to jurors, the man appears to be crying and distressed when he walked into the police station.

“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,” he can he heard saying.

He told the receptionist he had been brought into the country by a man he met in Lagos, the court heard.

“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,” he said.

Ike Ekweremadu
Ike Ekweremadu has been a senator in Nigeria since 2003

Previously, the court has heard that he came from a village in Nigeria and was allegedly recruited by Dr Obeta while selling phone accessories from a wheelbarrow in Lagos.

He told jurors he thought he was being brought to the UK to work and only found out it was for him to donate a kidney when he visited the Royal Free Hospital.

The young man told jurors he was “shocked”, felt like crying, and that “nobody told me about kidney transplant”.

He claimed he was told he had to go ahead with the operation in exchange for 1.2 million naira (about £2,000), jurors were told.

When he ran away, the court heard, he initially set off on foot from London, not knowing where he was.

The trial continues.

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles