The Senate on Wednesday sought clemency for Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy senate president and Beatrice, his wife, ahead of their sentencing in the UK.
The parliament resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion of privilege sponsored by Sen.Chukwuka Utazi(PDP-Enugu) at plenary in Abuja.
Utazi in his presentation told the senate, although the sentencing of the Ekweremadus’ was shifted to 6th May ,there was the need for clemency, given the good standing of Senator Ekweremadu.
He said Ekweremadu who was a former Deputy Senate President for 12 years, and former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament had made enormous contributions in the development of democracy in Nigeria, West Africa and beyond.
“Whereas the Senate is not happy with the conviction of the Ekweremadus’ though, ignorance of the law is not an excuse , but Modu 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 of the convicts are first offenders .
“That the since the matter was in the United Kingdom, that a novel approach in 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.
“That considering the long history of good relationship existing between Nigeria and the British government and considering that this is the first time that the Senate is making this kind of plea on the British government to yield to our request for clemency for the Ekweremadus’ in their sentencing.”
Senate President Ahmad Lawan in his remarks said: ”distinguished Sen. 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 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, a very peaceful man is getting involved in this kind of saga.’
NAN reports that Ekweremadu, wife and a doctor were convicted of organ trafficking, in the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
NAN reports that the Ekweremadus are due to be sentenced on Friday at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey in the UK.