Ohanaeze Urges FG to Intervene in Ekweremadu’s Alleged Organ Harvesting Suit, Disagrees with Malami

Gideon Arinze in Enugu

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has asked the federal government to intervene in the legal battle involving former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who is currently facing trial over alleged organ harvesting in the United Kingdom.

Ohanaeze also disagreed with a statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who last week said the federal government would not interfere with any local or international legal issues involving the senator.

Malami was quoted to have said it had never been the tradition of the Nigerian government to interfere in anything judicial, local or international.
However, reacting to the AGF’s comment in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia yesterday, Ohanaeze said it was in the context of cultural relativism and the premium placed on their citizens’ welfare and national pride, that countries deploy their diplomatic weights and resources to ensure that their citizens obtain justice and even reprieve in a foreign land, no matter the gravity of the offence.

The organisation noted that it was rather curious that the AGF made reference to Nigeria’s “Child Rights Act” more than a month after the UK court had ruled that the “donor” is not a child.

“One would expect Nigeria to feel scandalised by the initial contempt by the British authorities in discountenancing an official document of Nigeria on the “donor’s” age in the first place and feel disrespected by the continued refusal to grant Ekweremadu bail for a clearly bailable offence,” Ohanaeze stated.
The organisation further stated that Ekweremadu had written to the UK High Commission to support a visa application of a “donor” listed as David Ukpo Nwamini.

“In the letter, Ekweremadu made a full disclosure that Mr. Ukpo was undergoing ‘medical investigations for a kidney donation to his daughter.’ The full name of the UK hospital was also stated and nothing shady.

“The Ekweremadu letter to the British Embassy was unequivocal. He indicated the purpose of his travel and also requested the Embassy to grant visa to Mr Ukpo for a stated purpose. We view Ekweremadu’s full disclosure as a proof of non-criminal intent,” it stated.

The organisation pointed out that Ekweremadu had served Nigeria meritoriously in various capacities, including as the Deputy President of the Senate; the Speaker of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), among others, adding that he was decorated with the service honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic-CFR.

It stated that the Nigerian government and all Nigerians must know that a measured indignity to Ekweremadu, an illustrious Igbo and a serving senator of the federal republic of Nigeria was a sad denouement to Nigeria and indeed the entire Africa.

Ohanaeze therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Nigeria’s High Commission in the UK, the Senate and House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to use their diplomatic channels to ensure that Ekweremadu and his wife get the desired assistance by transferring the case to Nigeria.

“We reckon that Nigeria could never meet the same treatment to a British parliamentarian of Ekweremadu’s pedigree,” it added.

Related Articles