A senior wealthy Nigerian politician, his wife and a medical “middleman” have been found guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, after they brought a 21-year-old man to the UK from Lagos.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man for his kidney, in the first such case under modern slavery laws.
The Old Bailey heard the organ was for the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The prosecution said he was offered up to £7,000 and promised opportunities in the UK for helping, and that he only realised what was going on when he met doctors at the hospital.
It was alleged the defendants had tried to convince medics at the Royal Free by pretending he was the cousin of Sonia, who has a debilitating illness and remains on weekly dialysis, when they were not related.
While it is lawful to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if there is a reward of money or other material advantage.