Ekweremadu: Reps Plead With UK Court To Show Mercy
The Nigerian House of Representatives has appealed to the Central Criminal Court and the government of the United Kingdom (UK) to temper justice with mercy in the case of Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, who were convicted of organ trafficking on March 23, 2023.
The House passed a resolution on Tuesday, following the adoption of an urgent motion of public importance by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu. In the motion, Okechukwu argued that Ekweremadu had acted within his limited knowledge of UK laws and had written to the UK High Commission to support the medical visa application and declared the purpose of the trip. He further stated that the couple acted out of concern for their ailing daughter and not for commercial purposes.
The motion also called on the Nigerian government to take diplomatic steps and other necessary interventions regarding the travails of the Ekweremadus.
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The sentencing of the couple, as well as a medical doctor named Obinna Obeta, who was said to have facilitated the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to exploiting him, has been scheduled for May 5, 2023. Justice Jeremy Johnson handed down the conviction at the end of a six-week trial.
According to the motion, it is common for nations, including the UK, to seek relief for their citizens involved in situations such as that of the Ekweremadus. The motion cited former Military Head of State and President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who made a passionate plea for clemency and testified to Ekweremadu’s character as a patriot, god-fearing, and progressive citizen who has served Nigeria and West Africa in various capacities.
The House acknowledged that the Ekweremadus may have learned their lesson and urged the Central Criminal Court and the UK government to show mercy in their sentencing. The resolution passed by the House of Representatives will be sent to the UK authorities and the Nigerian government for their consideration.