Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice’s plea and trial hearing for organ trafficking, which was scheduled for Monday, have apparently been postponed, according to the Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey, in the United Kingdom.
Ekweremadu and his wife were accused of conspiring with Dr. Obinna Obeta to pay David Nwamini for the donation of an organ to their daughter, Sonia.
Following his arrest on June 23, Ekweremadu was held in a UK prison due to the allegation.
The embattled lawmaker’s wife Beatrice Ekweremadu, who is on bail, had appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea and directions hearing.
Ekweremadu and Dr Obinna Obeta, the third accused attended the session by video link from Wandsworth and Belmarsh prisons.
Multiple reports say during the hearing, the defendants were not asked to make a plea and merely spoke to confirm their names.
A High Court judge will hear the case, according to Judge Richard Marks QC.
He chose a temporary trial that will begin on May 2 of next year (2023) and last for three to four weeks.
The court also said it will not be sitting due to the non-availability of Sonia, whose case was established.
More specifically, a court representative insisted that even though the judge’s calendar was set when the couple and their co-defendant appeared before him on August 4, Sonia wasn’t included in the hearing at that time, and that “the judge won’t be hearing the case because ‘there’s no counsel for Sonia.”
Prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood had previously said that the case involved ‘exploitation and the harvesting of an organ.’
“The case began on 5 May 2022 when the complainant presented himself at Staines Police Station and claimed he had been transported to this country for the purpose of his kidney being removed.
“He arrived on 20th February 2022 and was taken to Royal Free Hospital where tests were conducted.
“For the purpose he was there he did not consent to the taking of his kidney.
“He returned to the house he was staying and his treatment changed dramatically.
“He described being treated effectively as a slave.’
Martin Hicks, QC, defending Ekweremadu, has said:
“We deny that there was any exploitation or any intent to do so.
“The argument will be factual denial.”