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Organ trafficking: How former US agent warned UK about Ekweremadu

Ekweremadu

An expert on Nigeria at the US state department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Mathew Page, had reportedly warned the UK’s national crime agency (NCA) of the activities of former Senate President Ike Ekweremadu before his organ trafficking case came to light.

Recall that Ekweremadu was on May 5th sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison by an Old Bailey court, while his wife, Beatrice, was sentenced to four years and six months for the same offence after being found guilty alongside their doctor of attempting to convince doctors at the Royal Free hospital to perform an £80,000 kidney transplant on the donor who was presented as the cousin of their daughter, Sonia.

According to a report by UK Guardian, Page, an associate fellow at the Chatham House, had alerted the UK authorities to investigate the illicit affairs of Ekweremadu before he was jailed.

Page said the UK could have avoided the historical case of organ trafficking if the authorities had swiftly acted on his warnings about Ekweremadu.

Page, in partnership with the UK’s Department for international development, examined how Nigerian politicians, including Ekweremadu, used unexplained wealth to buy millions of pounds worth of properties in the UK.

He also investigated how such politicians used funds accrued over the years to sponsor expensive private education for their children.

The report said: “He found that in a 12-year period, Ekweremadu would have made about £339,000 as a political office holder, including his stint as deputy president of the Nigerian senate.

“But in that period, he bought three properties – two in London and one in Cambridge – worth £4.2m. The Old Bailey heard that Ekweremadu had an international property portfolio worth more than £6m.

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“Page supplied the NCA with a dossier of information about how Ekweremadu had used unexplained wealth to fund his UK activities.

“Despite the warnings and financial red flags raised in the dossier, Ekweremadu’s organ trafficking plot went undetected until a young street trader from Lagos whom he had brought over fled to Staines police station in Surrey in May 2022 in fear for his life.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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