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Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing

Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing. On May 5, 2023, Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, are scheduled for sentencing after being convicted last year of conspiring to exploit a street trader of his kidney in the first such case under modern slavery laws. The couple had claimed that the organ was for their daughter, Sonia, aged 25.

Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing

The Nigerian Senate has now intervened in the matter by appealing to the Centre for Criminal Court, United Kingdom, for clemency in the sentencing of the former Deputy Senate President and his wife, only 48 hours before the sentencing date. In a motion by the Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi, the Senate has pleaded for mercy and leniency, citing Orders 10 and 11 to seek the leave of the Senate to request clemency on behalf of Ekweremadu and two others.

Utazi said, “Senator Ike Ekweremadu as a former Deputy Senate President for 12 years and the former Speaker of Economic Community Of West African States Parliament and considering the enormous contributions he did make in the development of democracy in Nigeria and West Africa and beyond.

Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing.

“They are seen as first offenders and they do not have any previous criminal records, considering that Ekweremadu was ignorant of seeking out a kidney donor to come to the United Kingdom and even applying to British Government in Abuja for a visa for the donor.”

Utazi noted that since the matter was in the United Kingdom, a novel approach to the sentencing of convicts is adopted by “tempering justice with mercy,” as the publicity already given to the trial was enough warning to the would-be offenders in the future.

Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing 

He added that all three convicts are first offenders and do not have any previous criminal records, and that Ekweremadu was ignorant of seeking out a kidney donor to come to the United Kingdom and even applying to British Government in Abuja for a visa for the donor.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, also stated that he had written a letter to the British Judicial Authorities about two to three weeks ago seeking clemency on behalf of the Senate. He commended Utazi for bringing up the issue and concluded by seeking tempering justice with mercy by the British Judicial Authorities when it comes to sentencing.

Senate Appeals, Intercedes For Ekweremmadu and Wife Hours To Court Sentencing 

It should be noted that the House of Representatives, ECOWAS Parliament, and chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, have also pleaded for leniency in Ekweremadu’s sentencing. However, it remains to be seen whether their appeals will be granted by the British Judicial Authorities.

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The Senate has cited the contributions of Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President for 12 years and former Speaker of Economic Community Of West African States Parliament, to the development of democracy in Nigeria and West Africa and beyond, and the fact that all three convicts are first offenders with no previous criminal records. Whether their appeals will be granted by the British Judicial Authorities is yet to be seen.

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