Real reason I sought kidney donors outside my family – Ike Ekweremadu

Former deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has insisted that his doctor advised him against seeking a kidney donor from his family members.

Ekweremadu disclosed this to a court in London on Thursday during cross-examination in an organ harvesting and trafficking criminal trial.

The Enugu state 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.

Ekweremadu was arrested last year and has been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.

Daily Mail reports that the young man, a 21-year-old trader from Lagos, Nigeria, was to be rewarded for donating a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

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?”

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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.

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“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.

With Mail report

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