Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and his wife, Beatrice, have been remanded in custody in the United Kingdom for fourteen days until July 7, 2022.
The Nigerian senator and wife allegedly ‘plotted to traffic a homeless 15-year-old boy to the UK and harvest his organs to give to their daughter who has kidney failure before he was arrested at Heathrow Airport with £20,000 in cash,’ the court heard.
Prosecutor Damla Ayas said: ‘It is conspiracy in relation to human trafficking offences for the purposes of organ harvesting. The victim in this case is a 15 years old boy.
They, (the couple) were interviewed at the police station. Both of the defendants have provided a prepared statement.
‘Mr Ekweremadu in his prepared statement denied allegations of human trafficking.
‘He said at no stage has he arranged transport for anyone with intention to exploit them.’
His wife similarly denied the allegations in her prepared statement, the court heard.
Gavin Irwin, representing Ekweremadu, said: ‘There is no question this is a serious allegation. Mr Ekweremadu is a member of the senate in Nigeria.
‘He has previously held an even more senior role as deputy president of the senate.
‘He is a member of the bar in Nigeria. He is a principal in a law firm that bears his name.
‘Those issues taken together go way beyond him being a person of good character…rather that he has led a blameless life as a public servant.’
Mr Irwin added that the allegations were ‘nothing short of preposterous’
Ike Ekweremadu, a Peoples Democratic Party politician for 19 years who was once Deputy President of the nation’s senate, and Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu are accused of trying to traffic the 15-year-old to the UK from Lagos.
The court heard the couple, who have four children and a house in Willesden, North London, hoped to transplant the boy’s organs to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure.
Police were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery laws last month.
They arrested the couple two days ago at Heathrow Airport as they attempted to board a plane to Turkey – where it was suggested that the procedure could take place – the court heard.
Ekweremadu, 60, is said to have had £20,000 on him at the time of his arrest, according to prosecutors.
The child is now under the care of safeguarding authorities and the Metropolitan Police, officials said.