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Doctor Urged Me To Use Outsider As Kidney Donor – Ekweremadu




Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said in a London court that his doctor advised him against asking a family member to donate a kidney.

Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice are charged with transporting a young man from Nigeria to the UK so that his kidney would be removed for their sick daughter Sonia, who is also on trial.

The politician was questioned and ultimately arrested in 2022 after the young man reported to UK authorities about a rumoured plan to harvest his organ.

The young man, a trader from Lagos, would be compensated for giving Sonia a kidney as part of an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London. But things didn’t go as planned as law enforcement agents got involved.

During the cross-examination of Ekweremadu, prosecutor Hugh Davies KC said, “On the question of whether a family member could, in theory, act as a donor, you decided that was not possible based on a reported conversation between your non-nephrologist brother and Dr Obeta, a non-nephrologist.”

“He would have been familiar with the principles”, Ekweremadu retorted. “I believe him because I am not a medical professional.”

But Davies said: “All you had to do, rather than rely on a second-hand account from non-nephrologists, was to ask one of the specialists you were consulting whether a family member could donate a kidney.”

Ekweremadu, however, suggested he had “limited intelligence,” a claim that was rejected by the prosecutor, who said, “It is incredible. You do not lack intelligence.”

The prosecutor continued, “The fact is you did not even try to ask Sonia’s cousins, for example, to consider acting as a donor.

“What you are saying is you had no intention of anyone in your family – immediate or extended – stepping up to donate a kidney to Sonia.

“Far better to buy one and let the medical risk go to someone you don’t know.”

Responding, Ekweremadu said it was “not true” that he agreed to get a donor by going through agents for the task.

Davies responded: “The pattern of communication reflects none of the types of human communication and contact you would expect if you and your family had believed that (the proposed donor) was a good Samaritan.”

Ekweremadu repeated, “Not true.”

Davies asserted, “The transplant with (the donor), not having gone ahead, you and your family then immediately sought to recruit further donors for reward, transferring jurisdiction out of the UK to Turkey.

“That failed too because even that donor had not been trained properly to give the false answers when interviewed.”

The defendant dismissed the prosecutor’s claims, saying, “These are not the facts.”

Davies continued, “You did not move away from the Royal Free clinical team because they lacked expertise.

“When another donor was required you immediately sought to transfer the clinical process to Turkey.”

The Nigerian Senator answered Davies by noting that treatment in Turkey was “cheaper” when questioned why the Ekweremadus had been willing to leave an “internationally known centre of excellence” in London for an unproven institution.

Mr Davies responded, “You were trying to cut corners on the clinical outcome for your daughter to save money. You were a wealthy man, senator.”

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After the court hearing, Ekweremadu was remanded in prison in the UK as his family and his doctor, Dr Obinna Obeta, are being tried at the Old Bailey, Central Criminal Court in London.

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