The Nigerian Senate has appealed to the United Kingdom government to consider clemency for the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who is awaiting sentencing on organ harvest charges.
The decision which was taken at the plenary, followed a motion sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, representing Enugu North Senatorial District.
Utazi drew the attention of lawmakers to the travails of their former colleague, who is being tried for alleged organ trafficking for which he has been convicted alongside his wife and a medical doctor.
The lawmaker said Ekweremadu and other defendants have been convicted with their sentencing slated for the 5th of May, 2023.
He explained that being a Deputy Senate President for 12 years and the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, he has contributed hugely to the growth of democracy in Africa and beyond and should be considered for clemency.
“I want the Senate to plead with the United Kingdom government to have mercy and consider clemency for Senator Ike Ekweremadu in sentencing by the trial Court.
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan in his reaction, ruled out any deliberate move by Ekweremadu to infract on UK laws and pleaded for mercy.
He said, “Ike Ekweremadu has contributed immensely to the development of parliament in Nigeria and he has never been found wanting. We, therefore, call on the United Kingdom to tamper justice with mercy. They should consider clemency in the sentencing of Ekweremadu.
Ekweremadu is a very patriotic citizen of Nigeria who believes in the country and has done all he could for the development of the country. He was a three-time Deputy Senate President and a Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament.
“This is where diplomacy should come in, to consider clemency for Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
“I have personally written a letter pleading for clemency for Ekweremadu three weeks ago which I delivered to the UK Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria and I am not saying people should not do their work, but I only plead that in sentencing, they should tamper justice with mercy, particularly that he has not committed the offence before.
“If Ekweremadu had known it was an offence, he would not have committed it because he is a highly patriotic person.”