Reps: We’ll apply diplomatic pressure to help Ekweremadu
The House of Representatives has decided to intervene in the organ harvesting case in the United Kingdom involving a former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, urging British authorities to handle the case fairly.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who has been championing a cause he termed ‘legislative diplomacy,’ particularly said he would contact the Speaker of the British House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, with the hope of getting the United Kingdom to follow due process in Ekweremadu’s investigation.
Gbajabiamila stressed the need for Nigeria to mount pressure on the British Government diplomatically.
The Speaker made this known in his remarks on a motion of urgent public importance moved by a member of the House, Abdulkadir Abdullahi, who sought justice and fairness for all parties in the case.
Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, had been arrested by the Specialist Crime Team of the Metropolitan Police in London for alleged conspiracy to harvest the organ of a minor, Nwamini David, who is currently in protective custody.
Gbajabiamila partly said, “I have spoken with the Nigerian High Commissioner (to the UK, Sharafa Ishola) who has been extremely proactive in this matter and I expressed the need for him to continue to avail Senator Ekweremadu with all the necessary assistance that he will need to prove his case.
“I think this should be heightened as well to the UK Parliament. I would try and get in touch with the Speaker of the Parliament whom I was opportune to meet with and had fruitful discussions with just a couple of months ago. I believe the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Buba Yusuf, should also get in touch with his foreign affairs counterpart in the UK Parliament.
“So, it is important that we apply diplomatic pressure. Nigeria has very strong diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom and all those areas must be explored. I wish the Senator and his family well. We cannot imagine what they are going through at this time.”
Moving the motion, Abdullahi said, “We cannot have a situation where a simple allegation that has not been thoroughly investigated would result in a high-ranking public officer who has served and is still serving the Nigeria public and the Nigerian State and he has a diplomatic passport. We cannot allow this to happen. If it can happen to somebody of Ekweremadu’s status, I wonder what would happen to ordinary Nigerians.
“Secondly, as a diplomatic passport holder, there are status and privileges that he is supposed to enjoy. But from what is happening so far, we feel that all the privileges and status that he is supposed to enjoy has been thrown to the dustbin.”