By Micaela Burrow, DCNF
A London court accused a Nigerian senator and his wife of conspiring to transport a boy to the UK to harvest his organs, the BBC reported Thursday.
Ike and Beatrice Ekweremadu were charged with “conspiracy to arrange and/or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation” and appeared before Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court in London on Thursday morning, according to the BBC. UK authorities took the 15-year-old boy, whom the defendants allegedly forced to travel from his home country to the UK so they could harvest his organs, into custody.
The Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Team in London began an investigation after receiving a tip regarding a possible modern-day slavery incident, the BBC reported.
The couple was staying in London while Mr. Ekweremadu served as a visiting professor at the University of Lincoln, the BBC reported. The defendants named Nigeria as their permanent residence in court.
My family and I are with the Ekweremadu’s over their travail. We join all men of goodwill in praying for the healing of their daughter and commit them into God’s hand for justice to be done. -PO
— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) June 24, 2022
Ekweremadu is a constitutional lawyer and senator in Nigeria for the People’s Democratic Party, and was deputy president of the Senate from 2007-2019, the BBC reported. He also spoke on democracy and constitutionalism in Africa for the Center for Media & Peace Initiatives in New York in 2017, according to the CMPI website.
Before the case can proceed, the court will have to obtain permission from the Attorney General.
“In respect of these offenses the (UK) Attorney General’s consent is required and the Crown requires 14 days for that to be obtained,” prosecutor Damla Ayas told the court, according to the BBC.
The couple will appear before the court again on July 7.
Congress has recognized organ harvesting as a growing problem, particularly in China, where thousands of prisoners are reportedly targeted for organ harvesting each year.
Nigeria struggles with government corruption, human rights abuses and rampant terrorist activity.
The Uxbridge Magistrates Court, and the People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria and CMPI did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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