The University of Lincoln, United Kingdom, has banned Senator Ike Ekweremadu who it recently appointed a visiting professor of Corporate and International Linkages.
This followed Thursday’s arrest and subsequent arraignment of Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, in London for alleged conspiracy to harvest the kidney of 15 years old Ukpo Nwamini David.
David, according to the prosecution, was trafficked from Nigeria and entered the UK with the passport of a 41-year-old man.
The London Mail yesterday quoted the university’s spokesperson as saying that Ekweremadu’s duties at the institution have been suspended for the time being.
“Visiting professors are often, as is in this case, non-resident at the university, unpaid and advisory,” the university’s spokesperson said.
“We are deeply concerned about the nature of these allegations, but as this is an active police investigation, we cannot comment further at this stage.
“Whilst this matter is subject to investigation, this person will not be undertaking any duties as visiting professor at Lincoln.”
Ekweremadu had, soon after the university appointment two weeks ago, tweeted: “It was a pleasure and an honour to receive a letter of appointment by the University of Lincoln, UK, as Visiting Professor of Corporate and International Linkages.
“I also got a highly treasured gift – a copy of the Magna Carta. It was created in 1215, about 807 years ago.”
‘Teenager kidney donor entered the UK with the passport of 41-year-old’
David, the teenager at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation, is said to have entered the United Kingdom (UK) with his age put at 41 years.
The London Mail, in a report yesterday, said David also did not know that he was taken to London for the purpose of donating his kidney.
“The 15-year-old was given the passport of a 41-year-old in order to get into the UK, but did not know he was there to donate a kidney until he went for a hospital appointment in London, a court heard yesterday (Thursday),” the Mail quoted Prosecutor Damla Ayas as telling the Uxbridge Magistrates Court.
The prosecutor said the passport was illegally procured.
The newspaper added: “After he (David) arrived in the capital in February, he had a string of medical appointments about kidney donation, but a consultant at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North London, became concerned about the boy’s real age and if he knew he was there to donate an organ, it is alleged.
“’He was provided with a medical travel visa saying the purpose of the travel was to provide medical treatment for the defendants’ daughter who was undergoing dialysis in relation to a number of health issues.
“It was premeditated, it was planned. Blood tests were obtained in Nigeria and he travelled to the UK in February this year.
“He was taken to several medical appointments, in particular a medical appointment at the Royal Free Hospital, and was spoken to by a consultant about the organ harvesting for a kidney transplant.
“The consultant was concerned about his actual age and was concerned he was not aware he was the donor of the kidney. He only found out that the purpose of his visit was for an organ transplant when he visited the hospital.”
The couple is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
The kidney was meant for their daughter, Sonia, who requires a kidney transplant.
They face a 10-year jail term if found guilty.
David is now under the care of safeguarding authorities and the Metropolitan Police, officials said while the accused persons are being remanded in custody.
The next hearing in the case comes up on July 7 when the court will rule on jurisdiction.
Obi to Ekweremadus: My family and I are with you in your travail
Reacting yesterday to the arrest and prosecution of the Ekweremadus, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi sympathised with them on their ordeal and prayed that God might heal their daughter.
Obi, writing on Twitter, said: “My family and I are with the Ekweremadus over their travail.
“We join all men of goodwill in praying for the healing of their daughter and commit them into God’s hand for justice to be done.”