‘He is a major asset to the region’ — ECOWAS parliament seeks pardon for Ekweremadu - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Tuesday 2 May 2023

‘He is a major asset to the region’ — ECOWAS parliament seeks pardon for Ekweremadu

‘He is a major asset to the region’ — ECOWAS parliament seeks pardon for Ekweremadu

Sidie Tunis, speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament, has pleaded with a UK court to show mercy to Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy senate president and his wife.

In March 2023, Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were found guilty of organ trafficking by a UK court.

In a letter addressed to the chief clerk of the central criminal court, Old Bailey, London, Tunis said Ekweremadu made immeasurable contributions to the ECOWAS parliament while he was the speaker of the third legislature.

Describing Ekweremadu as “a major asset to the ECOWAS region”, the speaker added that “his long absence owing to his circumstance since June 2022 has denied us his invaluable service”.

“It remains dreadful if he faces a long prison sentence in the present circumstance,” he said.

Tunis added that Sonia, the ailing daughter of the senator, cannot survive the absence of her parents in her present health condition.

“I wish to state that it is a common feeling among parents, especially in Africa, not to bury or survive his or her child,” he said.

“As a father, therefore, I can easily relate with the pains, dilemma, and crossroads of the senator and his wife over the health condition of their ailing daughter, who must still undergo a kidney transplant to stand a chance of surviving to fulfil her destiny. 

“And who else could foot the bills better and also provide that morale support for the daughter? It still remains senator and Mrs Ekweremadu. It is certain that Sonia cannot survive the absence of her parents in her present health condition. 

“At this juncture, I wish to add that I totally stand against the crime for which the senator and his spouse have been convicted. The community parliament also stands against it. 

“We do not support organ harvesting in any way and by any method. Nevertheless, we believe that lessons have been learnt, not only by Ekweremadu but by everybody. 

“In view of all these, therefore, I wish to fervently appeal to the honourable court, on behalf of the ECOWAS parliament, for leniency in meting out justice to the couple. 

“We understand the position of the law, but only appeal that the honourable court puts on a human face in this circumstance and temper justice with mercy, especially considering his good behaviour and contributions to the good of the society, the less privileged, and democracy. 

“Importantly, the typical Ekweremadu, being one, who is given to charity work and experienced in lawmaking in Nigeria and internationally, could also be very useful to the Nigerian and international community in public enlightenment and legal reforms campaigns on organ trafficking to curtail such incidents drawing from his personal experience.”

Meanwhile, the court has fixed May 5 for the sentencing of the couple and Obinna Obeta, a doctor who was also found guilty.

Earlier on Tuesday, the house of representatives asked the UK government and parliament to intervene in the sentencing of Ekweremadu and his wife.

READ ALSO:  Senate Investigates Delay In Issuance, Renewal Of Passports

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