The former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and Obinna Obeta, a doctor involved in the case have been found guilty of organ trafficking by a United Kingdom court.
The jury found them guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
According to the UK Guardian, it is the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
Their daughter, Sonia, was however cleared of the charges.
The Ekweremadus were arrested by the London Metropolitan Police in June 2022.
They were alleged to have attempted to convince doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London to perform an £80,000 transplant on the donor who was presented as Sonia’s cousin.
However, during the trial, the couple apologised for claiming that the donor was a relative.
Hugh Davies, the prosecutor, told the court the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
He added that they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the 21-year-old.
The prosecutor said Ekweremadu, a lawyer and lawmaker, “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
“What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal,” he said.
“It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
Throughout the trial, Ekweremadu denied all accusations and maintained that he was the victim of a scam.
Obeta, who also denied the charge, claimed the man was not offered a reward for his kidney and was acting altruistically.