A court hears that Evelyn “Ebere” Agbasonu allegedly asked for £1,500 to help secure a kidney for Sonia Ekweremadu by “coaching” a donor during hospital appointments.
An interpreter became embroiled in a failed bid to persuade doctors to approve an illegal kidney transplant for the daughter of a wealthy Nigerian politician, a court has heard.
Evelyn “Ebere” Agbasonu allegedly asked for £1,500 to help secure Sonia Ekweremadu’s £80,000 private kidney transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in February 2022.
The prosecution claims the procedure was not legal as the donor was a street trader from Lagos who had generous motive or family connection with the 25-year-old recipient.
The Old Bailey has been told it was a “transactional” deal, with the 21-year-old man to be paid up to £7,000 for the harvesting of his body part and the promise of opportunities in the UK.
Ms Ekweremadu is on trial alongside her father Ike, 60, then-deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, her mother Beatrice, 56, and medical “middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta.
Ms Agbasonu was a member of staff at the hospital in Hampstead where she worked as a medical secretary.
Jurors heard she had stepped in to interpret Igbo during an initial meeting on 24 February between Dr Peter Dupont and the donor from Nigeria.
The consultant had concluded the young man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not an appropriate candidate and appeared relieved the transplant would not go ahead.
Prosecutor Hugh Davies KC said it was “somewhat extraordinary” that, according to messages from others, Ms Agbasonu appeared to agree to manipulate a second meeting to help the Ekweremadu family.
Mr Ekweremadu’s medically trained brother Diwe allegedly sent Sonia Ekweremadu advice from the interpreter to show a clear family connection with the donor.
He allegedly said: “Ebere said it would be easier to establish that his mum and your mum are sisters. If we stretch it to the grandmum and grandmum the relationship will be too distant.”
Ms Ekweremadu allegedly replied: “OK, that’s fine.”