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Senate seeks clemency for Ekweremadu ahead of sentencing in UK



The Senate on Wednesday appealed to the Central Criminal Court in the United Kingdom for clemency in the case of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice.

The court had on March 23 convicted the couple and their doctor, Obinna Obeta, for organ trafficking.

The convicts would be sentenced on Friday.

The Senate resolution followed the adoption of a motion of privilege sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi at the plenary in Abuja.

In his presentation, Utazi urged the British court to temper justice with mercy given the good standing of Ekweremadu.

Ekweremadu, according to him, made enormous contributions to the development of democracy in Nigeria, West Africa, and beyond.

He said: “Whereas the Senate is not happy with the conviction of the Ekweremadus though, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. But let me point out that the former deputy Senate president was desperate to save his ailing daughter, Sonia.

“This Senate is not in any way appealing to the conviction of the Ekweremadus’ nevertheless it is joining them in their plea by asking for clemency in the coming sentencing two days away.

“That clemency may be extended to the Ekweremadus considering that all the convicts are first-time offenders.

READ ALSO: Ekweremadu: ECOWAS Parliament begs UK court for leniency

“That the since the matter was in the United Kingdom, a novel approach in the sentencing of the convicts be 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.”

In his remark, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said: Distinguished Senator Ekweremadu served for 12 years as Deputy Senate President and he put in so much effort to the development of the Parliament across Africa and in the world.

“He was not found wanting and so what has happened is very unfortunate.

“I have written a letter to the British judicial authorities about three weeks ago on behalf of the Senate seeking for Clemency, given the history of Senator Ekweremadu.

“We are now using this particular intervention, to seek for clemency in the sentencing. The conviction has been done, but we are seeking clemency because this is the first time, our colleague, a patriot, a leader, a great leader, and a very peaceful man is getting involved in this kind of saga.”

The House of Representatives and the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Parliament had on Tuesday pleaded for leniency in the sentencing of the former deputy senate president by the court.

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