Senate seeks clemency for Ekweremadu as Buhari attends King Charles’ coronation in London
With less than 48 hours to the sentencing of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate, yesterday, passed a motion, seeking clemency.
In March 2023, a United Kingdom (UK) court convicted Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, on charges of organ trafficking.
Also convicted was a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, who was said to have facilitated the travel of a young man to Britain, with a view to exploiting him for that purpose.
Justice Jeremy Johnson handed down a guilty verdict on the defendants in London at the end of a six-week trial.
The Metropolitan Police had, last year, arrested Ekweremadu and his wife for luring a young man from Nigeria to the UK for the propose of organ harvesting.
In a unanimous adoption of a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Chukwuka Utazi, the Senate pleaded that clemency be extended to the Ekweremadus, considering that all the convicts are first offenders.
The Senate also said: “Since this matter was novel in the United Kingdom, a novel approach in sentencing of the convicts should be adopted by tempering justice with mercy, as the publicity already given to the trial was enough warning to would-be offenders.”
It urged consideration of the long history of good relationship between Britain and Nigeria, stressing that this is “the first time the Senate is making this kind of plea.”
In a remark, Senate President Ahmad Lawan disclosed that he had written a letter to the British judicial authorities about two three weeks earlier, seeking clemency on behalf of the Senate.
He said: “We are now using this particular intervention to seek clemency in the sentencing. The conviction has already been done but we are seeking clemency because this is the first time our colleague is getting involved in this kind of thing.”
He recalled that Ekweremadu served as Deputy Senate President for 12 years.
According to him, “Ekweremadu has brought in so much effort to the development of parliaments in Africa and across the world, and he has never been found wanting and, therefore, what has happened is very unfortunate and very sad.”
MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, departed for London, United Kingdom, to join other world leaders invited to attend the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, respectively.
The coronation will take place on Saturday.
Ahead of the event, the Commonwealth Secretariat will take advantage of the gathering of leaders in London to host a Commonwealth Summit for Presidents and Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries on Friday, May 5.
Buhari is billed to participate in the summit, which will deliberate on the future of the Commonwealth and the role of the youth.
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