Ike Ekweremadu, who used to be Vice President of the Senate, and his wife, Beatrice, were found guilty of organ trafficking in the UK.
After a six-week hearing at the Old Bailey, the two men and a doctor named Dr. Obinna Obeta were found guilty of helping a young man get to Britain so that he could be used.
The jury found on Thursday that they planned to bring the 21-year-old street vendor from Lagos to London to use him for his kidney.
The Guardian UK says that the judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, will decide on a term at a later time.
Organ trafficking was the charge against Ekweremadu, Beatrice, their daughter Sonia, and Obeta. They were on trial at the Old Bailey.
The Modern Slavery Act was used to find them guilty on Thursday. This was the first time a finding like this had been made.
Last year, Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested in the UK on charges that they brought a young man into the country so that his kidney could be taken.
The young guy was said to have been posed as Sonia’s cousin in a failed attempt to get doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London to do a private procedure for £80,000.
It was said that the young guy had been offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia, who had to drop out of her master’s program in film at Newcastle University because of kidney disease.
Hugh Davies KC, the prosecutor, told the court that Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other possible donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward.”
He told The Guardian UK that they did business with the man in a way that was “emotionally cold.”
Davies told the jury that Ekweremadu’s actions showed that he had a sense of “entitlement, dishonesty, and hypocrisy.”
He said that Ekweremadu “agreed to pay someone for a kidney for his daughter. This person was poor, and Ekweremadu kept his distance from him and didn’t ask him any questions. He also didn’t want to have direct contact with him because it would be bad for his political career.”
Davies said, “What he agreed to do wasn’t just good for his daughter Sonia’s health; it was also abuse and a crime. It is not an excuse to say that he did it because he loved his daughter. Her medical needs can’t be met by taking advantage of someone who is poor.”