Ekweremadu: Nigerian Senate pleads clemency for convicted lawmaker

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Nigeria’s Senate, where Ike Ekweremadu was previously a Deputy President has pleaded with the British Judicial authorities to be merciful to their colleague who is awaiting sentencing today. The Enugu West Senator will be sentenced today alongside his wife and a medical doctor Obinna Obeta for organ harvesting.

The former Executive Chairman of Aninri Local Government Council stood trial in the UK together with his wife Beatrice, their daughter and Dr Obinna Obeta. They were charged with conspiring to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old man from Lagos to the UK for an organ transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The daughter was cleared of wrongdoing in March 2023 while the three were convicted of the charges.

Under the Modern Slavery Act, the trio were charged with conspiracy to arrange for the travel of a third party for exploitation. This could land them a maximum of life imprisonment or a minimum of 10 years jail term.

However, ahead of the sentencing today, the Nigerian Senate has appealed for clemency for their colleague.

“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,” the Senate said as reported by the Guardian.

“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,” Senate President Ahmad Lawan revealed.

According to Ahmad Lawan, Ekweremadu has contributed immensely to the development of parliaments in Africa and beyond and this incident is just a mishap.

“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.”

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