They facilitated his travel from Lagos to London to remove one of his kidneys, it is claimed. Sonia has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court has been told. Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.
They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking. The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February this year and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.
After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave’. He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.
Ike, a barrister and former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, and his wife Beatrice were arrested in the UK on 21 June after flying in to Heathrow from Turkey. Ike and Obeta are currently on remand in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively. They did not appear at court today.
Beatrice was granted bail at a hearing in July and appeared in court today wearing a black head-wrap and long black coat. Sonia is also on bail and appeared alongside her mother. The defendants were due to enter their pleas but this could not take place today because of further legal argument.
The trial has been brought forward from May to 31 January next year at the Old Bailey. The trial will last four weeks and a High Court judge will preside over the hearing. The Ekweremadus and Obeta will next appear at the Old Bailey on 16 December this year.