Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, has insisted that his doctor advised him against seeking a kidney donor from his family members.
On Thursday, while being cross-examined in a criminal case involving organ trafficking and harvesting, Ekweremadu revealed this to a London court.
Recall that the lawmaker and his wife, Beatrice, are facing charges in the United Kingdom (UK) after they purportedly lured a young man from Nigeria to harvest his organ for their sick daughter, Sonia, who is also standing trial.
Authorities in the UK detained Ekweremadu last year after receiving allegations from the young man about their purported plans to remove his organ.
The young man, a 21-year-old merchant from Lagos, Nigeria, was to receive compensation for his £80,000 private kidney donation to Sonia at the Royal Free Hospital in London, according to the Daily Mail.
However, while cross-examining Ekweremadu on Thursday, Prosecutor Hugh Davies KC said, “On the question of whether a family member could, in principle, act as a donor, you decided that wasn’t possible based on a reported conversation between your non-nephrologist brother and Dr [Obinna] Obeta, a non-nephrologist?”
Ekweremadu responded, “He would’ve had basic knowledge. I am not a doctor, so if he says so, I believe him.”
Nevertheless, 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, therefore, insisted that he had “limited intelligence,” a claim that was not accepted by the prosecutor, who said, “It’s incredible. You do not lack intelligence.”
Davies then added, “The fact is you didn’t even try to ask Sonia’s cousins, for example, to consider acting as a donor.
“What you’re 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.”
In response, Ekweremadu said it ‘wasn’t true’, adding that he agreed to acquire a donor by going through agents for the task.
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu will remain in custody while the trial of his family and a medical “middleman”, Obinna Obeta, continues at the Old Bailey house in London.