The wife of a senior Nigerian politician accused of plotting to arrange an illegal organ transplant has denied involvement in the donor search.

Beatrice Ekweremadu, 56, is accused of conspiring with others to bring a street trader from Nigeria to London to use him as a donor for her daughter.

On Monday, she denied being privy to discussions about finding a donor for Sonia, 25.

It is alleged that the man was to be paid for his kidney.

Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, daughter, and medical “middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, all deny plotting to bring the 21-year-old street trader from Lagos to the UK so he could donate a kidney.

It is claimed the young man was falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to persuade medics to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital.

Family finances

On Monday, Mrs Ekweremadu told jurors her husband took care of the household finances, according to the Nigerian custom.

The mother of four, who worked full time in the Nigerian auditor general’s office, has a PhD in accountancy, the jury heard.

She said her domestic responsibilities included travelling to the UK every couple of weeks to visit her children at school and to pick them up for holidays.

Mrs Ekweremadu said Sonia first became unwell after she went home to Nigeria for the Christmas holidays in 2019.

Sonia returned to London to see a doctor at the Cromwell Hospital and then the Royal Free, jurors were told.

Defence barrister Anu Mohindru KC said: “There are text messages from your husband keeping you informed of what was happening. Is that something he would do?”

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The defendant replied: “Yes. He tells me what he thinks I need to know.”

The barrister went on to inquire if Mr Ekweremadu had relayed his discussions with his medically trained brother Diwe.

Mrs Ekweremadu told jurors she regarded Diwe Ekweremadu as the family doctor but did not ask about it.

It is alleged Diwe’s former classmate, Dr Obeta, offered to help the family.

Mr Mohindru asked the defendant if she was involved in identifying any candidates, which Mrs Ekweremadu denied.

The Ekweremadus, who have an address in Willesden Green, north-west London, and Dr Obeta, from Southwark, south London, deny the charges against them and the trial continues.

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Related Topics

  • Willesden Green
  • Nigeria
  • London
  • Southwark
  • Old Bailey