The Lagos street vendor who accused former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, of attempting to harvest his kidney in the United Kingdom testified on Tuesday before a British court that he implored police officials to “save his life.”
The 21-year-old man from Lagos, who cannot be named for legal reasons, accused Ike and his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu, of flying him to London to harvest his kidney for their 25-year-old daughter Sonia, who has a kidney condition.
The alleged victim testified before the Old Bailey Court in London that he spent three nights sleeping outside after being advised by physicians at a London hospital that he was not a good candidate to be a donor.
He then walked into a police station last May and said he was “looking for someone to save my life”, the court heard.
Premium Politics on Monday reported that the alleged victim in previous testimony, alleged that he was recruited by a doctor working for the politician.
He told the jury that he came to the United Kingdom thinking he would be working and only found out he needed a kidney transplant when he was transported to the Royal Free Hospital in London.
“Nobody told me about kidney transplant,” he said.
He testified before the court that he was promised a sum of roughly £2,000 ($2,418) and had been trained to tell doctors he was an Ekweremadu family member in exchange for the procedure.
The Central Criminal Court of London is now hosting trials for all four defendants (two Ekweremadus and their respective doctors). They’ve entered not guilty pleas, and a conviction could land them in prison for the rest of their lives.
Donating a kidney in the United Kingdom is lawful, but you can’t get paid for it. Authorities argue that the affluent Nigerians committed a crime regardless of whether or not the Lagos street vendor granted his consent.
Prosecutor Hugh Davies earlier told the court that the consultant doctor had testified that the young man had “little grasp” of why he was there and was “visibly relieved” when he was told the transplant would not go forward.
Ekweremadu, 60, represents Enugu State in the Senate for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
The judge agreed with the prosecution that he could attempt to flee the UK, thus he has stayed in detention. His daughter and wife were released from jail on bail.