Organ Harvesting: Beatrice Ekweremadu Sent To Prison Immediately After Court Proceeding
Judge Denies Bail Request Amid Concerns Over Flight Risk and Impact on Family
Last Thursday, the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) convicted former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Dr. Obinna Obeta in a groundbreaking organ harvesting case. Following the conviction, Anu Mohindru, Beatrice Ekweremadu’s barrister, sought conditional bail for his client until the provisional sentencing date of May 5, 2023. However, the Crown’s prosecutor, Hugh Davies, quickly countered this request.
Mohindru argued for the court’s consideration of the couple’s daughter, Sonia, who suffers from occasional blackouts and requires support during her thrice-weekly dialysis sessions at the Royal Free Hospital. Despite this, Davies convinced the judge that the Ekweremadus possessed the resources to enable Beatrice to flee the United Kingdom, possibly using falsified identification documents.
Davies cited a fraudulent affidavit presented during the trial as evidence that the couple could fabricate false identification documents to facilitate Beatrice’s escape from the UK. Although Mohindru contested this point, noting that the false documents were created in Nigeria rather than the UK, the judge remained unmoved.
The judge acknowledged that Beatrice had adhered to her bail conditions and consistently arrived in court punctually but ultimately sided with the Crown’s stance. Consequently, Beatrice was taken into custody immediately.
When Mohindru appealed for compassion on behalf of Sonia and emphasized the emotional impact of her parents’ convictions, Justice Johnson maintained that he would not risk granting Mrs. Ekweremadu a few weeks of freedom, asserting that Sonia’s siblings could provide the necessary support.
Reactions to the convictions of the former high-ranking Nigerian senator and his wife were diverse. Some members of the Nigerian community attending the trial criticized the defense barristers, excluding Sonia’s, for their perceived lack of effort. Others blamed the jury’s decision on factors beyond the trial evidence, such as emotions or dominant jurors.
The convictions of Ekweremadu and Obeta mark a historic precedent, as they are the first individuals to be imprisoned under the organ harvesting provisions of the Modern Slavery Act.