A wealthy Nigerian politician has been found guilty of an organ-harvesting plot involving a Hampstead hospital.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, who have an address in Willesden Green, were both found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to arrange the travel of a young man with a view to exploiting him for his body part.

Medical “middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, was also found guilty of the same charge.

The victim, a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney to the Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, for an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital.

It is the first time defendants have been convicted of an organ harvesting conspiracy under the Modern Slavery Act.

Sonia Ekweremadu, 25, who has a serious kidney condition, wept in court as she was cleared by the jury, which deliberated for nearly 14 hours.

While it is lawful to donate a kidney, it becomes criminal if there is a reward of money or other material advantage.

The prosecution claimed the donor was offered up to £7,000 and the promise of a better life in the UK.

It was alleged the defendants tried to convince medics at the Royal Free by pretending he was Sonia’s cousin when, in fact, they were not related.

An investigation was launched after the young man ran away from London and slept rough for days before walking into a police station more than 20 miles away Staines in Surrey, crying and in distress.

The court heard that in September 2021, Ike Ekweremadu enlisted the help of his medically-trained brother, Diwe Ekweremadu, to search for a donor.

Diwe, who remains in Nigeria, turned to former classmate Dr Obeta, of Southwark, who recently had a private kidney transplant at the Royal Free with a Nigerian donor.

Dr Obeta then engaged with Dr Chris Agbo, of Vintage Health Group, a medical tourism company, as well as an agent to arrange a visa for the donor, the court heard.

But once in London, two doctors at the Royal Free concluded the donor was not an appropriate candidate after learning he had received no counselling or advice about the risks of surgery and he lacked funds for the lifelong care he would need.

In their trial, the defendants claimed they believed the donor was acting “altruistically”.

Following the guilty verdicts, Mr Justice Johnson remanded the defendants in custody to be sentenced on May 5.