Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, may face life imprisonment if found guilty and convicted to maximum sentence under the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015).
The couple were arrested and charged with bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting. They were consequently arraigned on Thursday before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court.
The London metropolitan police said investigation was launched on the duo after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.
Daily Trust reports that MSA 2015 frowns at human trafficking, under which organ harvesting falls, and is punishable with maximum sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction.
The act partly reads, “Under s 2, an individual commits an offence if they arrange or facilitate the travel of another with a view to that person being exploited. It is irrelevant whether that person consents to the travel, or whether they are a child or an adult.
“Under s 3 of MSA 2015, exploitation includes: slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; sexual exploitation (which involves the commission of an offence under s 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children’s Act 1978 (indecent photographs of children), or Pt 1 of SOA 2003 (eg, rape or sexual assault); removal of organs where a person is encouraged required or expected to do anything which involves the commission of an offence under ss 32 or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions on use of live donors); securing services etc by force, threats or deception; securing services etc from children and vulnerable persons (eg, physically or mentally ill or disabled).”
It further stated that anyone found guilty of “human trafficking is liable on summary conviction to 12 months’ imprisonment and/or unlimited fine,” adding that “on conviction on indictment, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.”