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For Ekweremadu, time for Nigeria to intervene

For Ekweremadu, time for Nigeria to intervene


As Nigeria prepares for the next civilian-to-civilian democratic transition in 2023, for the sixth time since 1999, one of Nigeria’s pillars of democracy and undisputable fathers of Nigerian constitutionalism, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is absent from the political scene. At a time when his presence is most required due to the decisive nature of the next general election, Ekweremadu is held up in a British jail over a yet-to-be-proven allegation of human trafficking for the purpose of organ harvesting since June 2022. And Ekweremadu was one of the progressive lawmakers in the National Assembly who midwifed the current legal framework for election management in Nigeria, with provision for electronic transmission of results, a development that has restored the confidence of the Nigerian people in the electoral process enough to allow for the emergence of a formidable third force ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Trouble started for the senator representing Enugu West senatorial district of Enugu State, southeast Nigeria, when he was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police upon his arrival in the United Kingdom on charges of trafficking one David Nwamini, a 15 years old minor, from Nigeria into the country for the purpose of harvesting his kidney for use of his ailing daughter who urgently needed an organ transplant as a result of renal failure. Due to the seriousness of the allegation, which bordered on trafficking of a minor for organ harvesting by a Very Important Person for the benefit of his own daughter, Ekweremadu was immediately tried, found guilty as charged and convicted in the Nigerian court of public opinion, which has become, understandably, suspicious, hostile and bitter towards the ruling class for their many years of misrule, without really paying attention to the details of the matter.


Contrary to the initial claim of being a 15-year-old minor, David Nwamini, according to official records contained in his international passport and other relevant documents, was 22 years old, having been born in 1999. It is also on record that Nwamini was a willing donor as clearly illustrated in his voluntary submitting to routine medical tests in Nigeria in preparation for the procedure in the UK. To secure a medical visa to enable him travel to the UK for the procedure, Ekweremadu, as the sponsor, made full disclosure of the purpose of the trip to the British High Commission in Nigeria in a visa application-supporting letter indicating Nwamini as an intending donor for his ailing daughter. In his letter, Ekweremadu indicated Royal Free Hospital, London, as the centre for the medical procedure. And a Class D visa was issued to the 22 years old Nwamini, presumably after his status as a willing donor and other legal requirements must have been met. Unfortunately, upon arrival in the UK and following further medical examinations, it was discovered by the medical authorities of the Royal Free Hospital that the organ of Nwamini, the intending donor, did not match that of the senator’s daughter, and he was subsequently discharged to go home with nothing taken out of his body.

However, having spent some time in the UK between February and May, when he was scheduled to return after his expected post-surgery recuperation, Nwamini, a Nigerian youth to whom Nigeria had happened, also decided to happen to Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Apparently, wowed by the world of difference between his home country of Nigeria and the UK, his country of temporary residence, Nwamini may have decided to make his stay permanent. And the only way he thought he could achieve his UK dream in order to put an end to his Nigerian nightmare was to seek asylum by telling the British authorities that he was a minor trafficked into the country for the purpose of organ harvesting by a Nigerian big man. Information has it that he actually told this lie to the British authorities right at the airport in the UK on his return journey to Nigeria.

For a people that have come to believe the worst of Nigerians, the sound of human trafficking for organ harvesting by a high-profile Nigerian was sweet music to the British authorities and they went into a frenzied judicial overdrive to make a big kill out of an offending Nigerian big man. But like everything built on a foundation of lies, it did not take long for the legal representation of Ekweremadu to demolish the allegation of the donor being a minor, with the court actually ruling Nwamini to be 22, rather than 15, as originally alleged. At that point one would have thought that the British authorities would have released Ekweremadu and apologized to him for the embarrassment caused him and, as compensation for wasting the time of a loving father trying his utmost to save the life of his daughter, offer to help expedite the process of getting a suitable donor, but they are apparently too embarrassed by the fact they were deceived into launching a needless prosecution of one of Nigeria’s most distinguished senators by a desperate asylum-seeking liar.


As a lawyer, legal scholar, constitutional purist and a man who abhors any form of illegality in his private and public life, it is inconceivable that Ekweremadu would ever contemplate the trafficking of a minor to the UK for organ harvesting. A man who duly informed the UK High Commission in Nigeria about the medical nature of the donor’s trip to the UK and sought a medical visa, not a tourist, education or any other category of visa, does not indicate a criminal intention of human trafficking for organ harvesting. The continuous detention of Ekweremadu even without a shred of evidence of the allegation of human trafficking for organ harvesting amid a long adjournment is a clear indication of forum shopping by the British prosecutors to justify their error of judgment, rather than owning up to it. If for any reason Ekweremadu had contemplated human trafficking for organ harvesting, the UK would have been the last place in the world to choose as a destination. And this is why the Nigerian government can no longer stand by and allow one of its most illustrious citizens remain a subject of British legal experimentation over its self-righteous but inconsistent and contradictory laws of organ donation.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, must rise above partisanship to intervene now and secure the release of Senator Ike Ekweremadu from his unwarranted detention in the UK. And this will not be the first time the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Buhari, would be making such an intervention. From the facts available in the public, there is nothing in the entire process involving Nwamini that qualifies remotely as human trafficking for organ harvesting. But if President Buhari won’t intervene on behalf of Ekweremadu because of partisan differences, then let him do it for the sake of ailing Citizen Sonia Ekweremadu who needs her father by her side to provide the urgently needed lifesaving care for her.



Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.


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