Sen. Ike Ekweremedu’s daughter – Sonia – Monday appeared in court over the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the United Kingdom to harvest his organs for herself.
Sonia was accused alongside her parents – Ike and Beatrice – and one Dr. Obinna Obeta of conspiracy to facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, according to The Daily Mail.
It was reported that Sonia has not entered a plea but a trial date has been set for Jan. 31, 2023.
It’s been alleged that Sonia and the accused arranged the man’s travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys.
Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for Sonia’s benefit.
Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told.
They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking.
The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on Feb. 20 this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.
The Daily Mail added that after these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave.’
He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.
Sixty-year-old Ike – former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate – and his wife Beatrice, 56, were arrested in the UK on June 21 after flying into Heathrow from Turkey.
Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in the HMP Wandsworth and the HMP Belmarsh respectively. They did not appear at court today.
Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court on Monday.
Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother.
The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place on Monday because of further legal argument.
The trial has been brought forward from May to 31 Jan. next year at the Old Bailey.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow said: “We are told that this court is in a position to accommodate the trial…three months earlier.
“If an earlier date can be offered, and one can be, then it should be taken.”
The trial will last four weeks and a High Court judge will preside over the hearing.
The Ekweremadus and 50-year-old Obeta will appear at the Old Bailey on 16 Dec. this year.