ORGAN HARVESTING: Ike Ekweremadu’s trial resumes tomorrow in UK

ORGAN HARVESTING: Ike Ekweremadu’s trial resumes tomorrow in UK

All eyes will be on the Central Criminal Court, also known as The Old Bailey, tomorrow, when former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice and their daughter, Sonia, will know whether they’ll stand trial in the alleged conspiracy charges of organ harvesting against them.

The probability of the Senator being granted bail and returning to Nigeria with his family is on the cards.

After the last hearing, Chinedu Okoye, a lawyer, told The Guardian that the prosecution would need to apply to the Court for permission to keep him beyond Thursday, December 22, 2022. That, he said, “is the limit for which they can keep him in custody without trial since his arrest nearly six months ago.”

Though the delayed hearing was originally scheduled for last Friday, December 16, a court employee disclosed that “it’s not listed for Friday,” and that it had “been moved to December 19, 2022 due to a backlog “ of cases before the court. 

The Ekweremadus and Dr. Obinna Ogbeta are alleged to have conspired for the procurement of one of the kidneys of David Nwamini. It was while at a hospital for a series of tests in June that Mr. Nwamini ‘raised the alarm’ and told authorities he was brought in from Nigeria with the Senator’s family with the aim of procuring his organ for transplant for Sonia .

Ekweremadu has been in custody since their arrest on June 23, while his wife was granted bail.
However, she reports thrice a week to a local Police Station as part of her bail condition.

During the last hearing on Monday, November 7, Mrs. Ekweremadu and Sonia were in the dock. Ekweremadu was being set up to join proceedings via video link from His Majesty’s Prison, but that wasn’t necessary, when the court rose from its about half an hour sitting .

At that hearing, the timescales when both the Crown – prosecution service – and Ekweremadus’ defence should submit their skeleton arguments to the court and each other were agreed. A provisional trial date of January 31, 2023 was also mentioned. Sonia, though sickly, was also dragged into the case for the first time since her parents ordeal started on June 23.

Tomorrow, both the Crown and the defence will have the final chance to convince the court on how the case should proceed.

After the last hearing, Okoye also said  that after both sides would have submitted and responded to each other’s submissions by the December 12 deadline agreed timescale, the defence could ask for dismissal, if the Crown’s case is not strong enough for trial

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