London’s Metropolitan police said that Ike Ekweremadu, 60, and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 were charged on Thursday and are due to appear in court in Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later the same day.
The police said that a child—of unspecified age—has been taken into care.
The couple are both charged with “conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.”
Ike Ekweremadu served three terms as deputy president of the Senate in Nigeria, from 2007 to 2019.
He has been a senator since 2003 and is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He was recently made a visiting professor at the University of Lincoln.
A spokesman for the university said: “Visiting professors are often, as is in this case, non-resident at the university, unpaid and advisory.
“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.”
The police have said that they will not be providing any further details as criminal proceedings are now under way.
The charges were made under the modern slavery legislation—which was introduced only last month.
Lawmakers in the UK also recently passed legislation aimed at stopping British people from participating—as organ recipients—in forced organ harvesting.
The amendment to the UK’s new Health and Care Bill will criminalise any UK resident who pays for the supply of an organ, seeks to find someone willing to supply an organ for payment, or initiates or negotiates any such commercial arrangement outside of the UK, according to Health Minister Edward Argar.
The amendment was pushed by backbenchers who made it clear that it was primarily aimed at organ harvesting under the communist regime in China.
On June 17, 2019, the China Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal, unanimously concluded that prisoners of conscience have been—and continue to be—killed in China for their organs “on a significant scale” and that adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Gong have been one of the main sources of organ supply.
The tribunal published a 160-page report on March 1, 2020, reaffirming its previous conclusion—examining whether the practice had been stopped in China as the communist regime claimed—stating that there was “no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the Tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.”
PA Media and Lily Zhou contributed to this report