House of Representatives has pleaded with the Central Criminal Court and the government of the UK to temper justice with mercy in sentencing former deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Mrs. Beatrice Ekweremadu and Dr. Obinna Obeta who have been found guilty of organ harvesting.
The appeal came on the heels of motion titled, “Motion on the Need for Clemency for Senator Ike Ekweremadu” moved at Tuesday plenary by the deputy minority leader of the House, Hon. Toby Okechukwu under matter of urgent public importance.
The sentencing will be announced May 5.
Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said that Ekweremadu acted based on his limited knowledge of the UK laws, stressing that he must have learned his lessons.
He said: “Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a Nigerian citizen, serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, and former Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and his wife, Mrs. Beatrice Ekweremadu, were tried and convicted by the Central Criminal Court, London, the United Kingdom (UK) for offences relating to the breach of the novel Modern Slavery Act 2015.
“The sentencing of the couple is scheduled for May 5, 2023.
“Senator Ike Ekweremadu acted within his limited knowledge of the UK laws and did write to the UK High Commission to support the medical visa application for the potential donor and did declare the purpose of the trip.
“Senator Ekweremadu and Mrs. Beatrice acted under the natural instincts of parents to save an ailing daughter, and not for commercial purposes.
“It is a common practice in international relations for nations, including the UK, to seek relief for their citizens involved in situations such as that of the Ekweremadus.
“The House is also aware of the longstanding history and cordial ties between Nigeria and the UK.
“Elder statesmen such as former Military Head of State and President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, have made a passionate plea for clemency, testifying also to Senator Ekweremadu’s character as a patriot, god-fearing, philanthropic and progressive citizen, who has served Nigeria and West Africa as former three-term Deputy President of the Senate as well as Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.
“Several Nigerian national dailies have also joined the call for clemency for the Ekweremadus through their editorials.
“The predicaments of Ekweremadu’s ailing daughter, who needs the financial support and parental love of her parents to scale through her dire health challenge.
“The Ekweremadus must have learnt their lessons.”
Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal government of Nigeria to take all diplomatic steps and other necessary interventions regarding the travails of the Ekwermadu’s family.