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Nigerian Senator and Co-accused Sentenced by UK Court

Over the weekend, a Nigerian senator, his wife and a doctor were jailed over an organ harvesting plot involving a young man who was trafficked to the UK for his kidney, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement. Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and Dr. Obinna Obeta were sentenced at the UK’s Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, to nine years and eight months, four years and six months, and 10 years in prison respectively in the first conviction of its kind under Britain’s modern slavery laws. The three were found guilty in March of trafficking a 21-year-old street trader to the UK to provide a kidney for the Ekweremadus’ daughter Sonia, who according to the CPS statement suffers from deteriorating kidneys and needs regular dialysis. Ekweremadu was a former deputy senate president in Nigeria for 12 years and his case elicited sympathy in Nigeria where some saw him and his wife as victims of circumstance who were desperate to help their sick daughter. Some of the country’s political class wrote to the UK court appealing for leniency ahead of his sentencing, including Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo.