Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has pleaded with the Chief Clerk of the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, in London, United Kingdom, to consider the good deeds of embattled Senator Ike Ekweremadu, while passing judgement on his organ trafficking case.
Premium Politics reported that Ekweremadu, alongside his wife, Beatrice, and a medical practitioner, Dr. Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of aiding the migration of a 21-year-old Nigerian street trader to the UK with the intent of exploiting him of his kidney for their daughter, Sonia, who was cleared of any wrongdoing by the court.
This publication reported that after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey, the Ekweremadus and Dr. Obeta were found guilty on Thursday, March 24 by the presiding judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, who is expected to pass sentence at a later date.
As Nigerians anticipate the judgement, Obasanjo in his letter addressed to the UK court on Tuesday, April 5, put in good words for Ekweremadu who faces 10 years imprisonment in line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 of the United Kingdom after a London court found him and his wife guilty of organ trafficking.
The former president asked the Clerk to intervene and ensure the UK government tempered justice with mercy on Ekweremadu whom he described as a “God-fearing, dispassionate, moderate” politician whose “pan-Nigerian approach to national issues and developments, in our multi-ethnic, multi-religious geo-polity.”
Obasanjo also pleaded with the court to consider the “sake of their daughter in question whose current health condition is in danger and requires urgent medical attention, you will use your good offices to intervene and appeal to the court and the government of the United Kingdom to be magnanimous enough to temper justice with mercy and let punishment that may have to come to take their good character and parental instinct and care into consideration.”
According to Obasanjo, Ekweremadu dedicates himself to the service of God and humanity and he continues to play visible roles in national development.
“Through the Ikeoha Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded by him(Ekweremadu) and his wife, in 1997, he and his wife have rendered a lot of charitable activities, enhancing poor people’s access to quality education and healthcare and building their capacity to participate in mainstream social, political and economic activities of their communities,” he said.
Speaking further, he added, ” I do realise the implications of their action and I dare say, it is unpleasant and condemnable and can’t be tolerated in any sane or civilised society.
“I do hope Mr. and Mrs. Ekweremadu have learnt from this distressing experience of theirs to guide
their future actions or inactions so they will continue to be outstanding members of their community and will continue to contribute fully to the good of society in particular and the nation in general. Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration.”