Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has intervened in the legal travails of a former Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in the United Kingdom over the crime of conspiracy to harvest the organ of a 21-year-old Nigerian.
Obasanjo in a two-page letter dated April 3, 2023, appealed to the Chief Clerk of the Central Criminal Court in London to temper justice with mercy.
In the letter addressed to the Chief Clerk of the Court titled ‘Re: Ike Ekweremadu’, Obasanjo said that even though the Enugu West Senator’s action was condemnable and unacceptable, he has contributed his quota to the socio-political development of Nigeria, hence his punishment should consider his records of good deeds and the plight of his ailing daughter.
The letter read: “Mr Chief Clerk, I am very much aware of the current travails and conviction of Ike Ekweremadu and his wife in the United Kingdom resulting from their being charged with conspiring to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old from Nigeria to the UK to harvest organs for their daughter. 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 civilized society.
“However, it is my fervent desire for the very warm relations between the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Nigeria; for his position as one of the distinguished Senators in the Nigerian Parliament, and also for 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.
“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 the society in particular and the nation in general.”
Recall that Ekweremadu, who has been held in the United Kingdom since June 2022, was found guilty alongside his wife and a medical doctor of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in organ harvesting.