Ekweremadu: NiDCOM chairman pleads with UK gov’t to be clement in judgment

Former Deputy Senate President, Ike-Ekweremadu

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has appealed to the UK government to be lenient with former Nigerian Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, over the Central Criminal Court’s judgement regarding his case organ harvesting.

The call is coming as the Central Criminal Court in the UK on Friday prepares to deliver judgement against Ekwremadu who was found guilty of trying to have a young man’s kidney removed for a transplant to his daughter.

Its Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement issued by Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, NiDCOM, pleaded with the court to show compassion and sympathy in the case.

“I join men and women of goodwill to plead for clemency for Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, if only even considering the psychological trauma that Sonia, the daughter, would be going through knowing that her parents are in jail because they tried to save her from a health condition she had no control over,” the statement quoted Dabiri-Erewa as saying.

She pleaded with the UK government to temper justice with mercy, admitting that “mistakes have been made, and lessons learnt”.

The NIDCOM boss, however, said although there was no ignorance before the law, Ekweremadu and his wife acted under natural instincts of parents to save an ailing daughter, and not for commercial purposes.

The former senate president and his wife, Mrs Beatrice Ekweremadu, were convicted of conspiring to exploit a 21-year-old man for his kidney, under modern slavery laws.

The couple were charged at Central Criminal Court, UK for offences relating to breach of the novel Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The act stipulates that a person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to exploiting and harvesting his organ, regardless of the victim’s age and whether consent was given or not.

Specifically, Section 5 (2) provides that a person guilty of an offence under section 2 (4) is liable “on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years”.

The sentencing of the couple is scheduled for May 5. (NAN)

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