Ekweremadu: Ohanaeze sues for leniency

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has appealed to the British government to show mercy to the former deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

The apex Igbo social cultural organisation, made the appeal at it’s National Secretariat, GRA, Enugu, during a courtesy call by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Richard Montgomery.

Ekweremadu was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison in the United kingdom for being what the judge described as the “driving force” in a plot to harvest a kidney for his sick daughter from a young Nigerian boy he had trafficked to London in 2022. 

But making the passionate appeal, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said that they accepted the jail term but appealed to the relevant authority to reduce the years of jail term on the ground that he was trying to save the life of his daughter.

“There is a very important issue that we have to bring to your attention. You’re aware of the case of Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who was convicted and is in jail in your country. He’s from this state and we all know the circumstance he got entangled in that unfortunate incident because he wanted to save his daughter.

“He is already serving a jail term. It’s unfortunate; but it has happened. I testified for him during the trial and in fact, the judge mentioned my name two times while delivering his judgment.

“But we’re using the opportunity of your visit to ask for leniency for him so that he doesn’t spend the number of years in jail. We have accepted the judgment, but are saying if there’s anything that could be done to reduce the jail term. He’s from this area and if we don’t bring this thing up as Ohanaeze or from us here, concerning this important son of Igboland, it wouldn’t be nice of us. We are quite overwhelmed,” he appealed.

He however mentioned other numerous areas that the zone needs the partnership of the Britain to include, establishment of Embassy office in Enugu to serve South East zone to ease the stress of travelling to Abuja or Lagos for Visa, adding that the zone have 60% of Nigerian Visa applicants but deserving.

While calling for restructuring of the country, Iwuanyanwu sought partnership with British government to help the zone harness their mineral resources, export agricultural produce and boost the economy of the country.

According to him, the zone has several mineral resources and would form a counsel to meet with British government to have a trade partnership that would make the economy viable.

Responding, the British High commissioner to Nigeria, Montgomery commended the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for their hospitality, assured them of the Britain’s readiness to partner with the zone to boost the economy of the country.

He pointed out that Britain has reduces the taxation on exportation of goods from Nigeria but lamented that the recent Nigeria currency policy would not allow investors to come to the country for business establishment.

“First, I have to thank you for the materials and assure you that we are ready to partner with the zone to boost the economy of the country. We are waiting to meet with the counsel of trade that you promised to form,” he assured.