The Senate, on Wednesday, appealed to the Central Criminal Court, United Kingdom for clemency in the sentencing of Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice.
Recall that the Central Criminal Court had on March 23, 2023, found the Ekweremadus, alongside Dr Obinna Obeta guilty of organ trafficking in the UK by criminally conspiring to bring a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to harvest his kidney for Sonia Ekweremadu who has a kidney ailment.
Their sentencing has been scheduled for Friday, May 5.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said being a first offender, Ekweremadu deserved clemency, noting that he had written to the UK authorities about two weeks ago, seeking mercy for the Ekweremadus.
A motion by the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi, cited Orders 10 and 11 to seek the leave of the Senate to request for clemency on behalf of Ekweremadu and two others.
Utazi said, “The Senate is not happy about 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.”
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Utazi noted that since the matter was in the United Kingdom, a novel approach to the sentencing of convicts was 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.
He noted that this was the first time the Senate was “making this kind of plea to the British government to yield to our request for clemency for the Ekweremadus in their sentencing.”
Speaking, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated that the Senate had taken a number of steps previously to intervene in the issue.
“I have written a letter to the British Judicial Authorities about two to three weeks ago seeking clemency on behalf of the Senate. I signed the letter and have it delivered to the authorities in the United Kingdom.
“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,” Lawan said