Ekweremadu: Senate pleads with UK to “temper justice with mercy”

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Abuja, May 3, 2023 – The Senate on Wednesday joined its lower chamber in appealing to United Kingdom for clemency in the sentencing of Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice.

Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, have been convicted in a case of organ harvesting and sentencing is to be given on May 5.

In a motion by the Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi, on Wednesday, the Senate pleaded for mercy and leniency.

Senator Utazi cited Orders 10 and 11 of the Senate to request for clemency on behalf of Ekweremadu and the two others.

Utazi said that the Senate was making the appeal on the grounds that “Senator Ike Ekweremadu was 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 in the development of democracy in Nigeria and West Africa and beyond.

“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.”

“The Senate is not happy with the conviction of the Ekweremadus’ and ignorance of the law is not an excuse, but they were faced with these circumstances in a bid to save their dying daughter Sonia.

“The Senate is joining in the plea by asking for Clemency in the coming sentencing two days away. That Clemency may be extended to the Ekweremadus’ considering that all of the convicts are first offenders.”

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

“That considering the long history of good relationship existing between Nigeria and the British government and considering that this is the first time that the Senate is making this kind of plea to the British government to yield to our request for Clemency for the Ekweremadus’ in their sentencing.”

Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, said that the Senate had taken a number of steps previously to intervene in the issue. (GBN)

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