Ohanaeze Ndigbo Berates FG As UK Imprisons Ekweremadu, Wife

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has berated the Federal Government for not helping former three-term Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, 60, who was on Friday jailed in the United Kingdom for nine years and eight months for an organ trafficking plot.

His wife, Beatrice, 56, was also jailed for four years and six months due to her “more limited involvement,” as the court described Ekweremadu as the “driving force throughout” the process.

The medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, 56, also bagged 10 years after the judge found that he had “targeted the potential donor, who was young, poor and vulnerable.”

Hugh Davies, the prosecutor said the three defendants were guilty of trafficking with ‘the highest level of culpability.’

Recall that Ekweremadu, who served as the Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the Economic Community of West African State Parliament, was arrested on June 23, 2022, by the London Metropolitan Police for reportedly ‘conspiring to bring a child to the UK for organ harvesting.’

The spokesperson for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, reacting to the court’s judgment, said the Federal Government did nothing to help Ekweremadu.

“They did not treat him like someone who has served meritoriously in this country. Rather, while he was facing the travails, the Federal Government came out with charges and allegations of corruption and seized his properties.

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“This is a man who has been around you, walked with you for years and when he needed your help, there were busy talking about auctioning his properties. All those things indicated that it was not only the UK court that was after him, but the FG was also after him,” he said in an interview with Punch.

Ogbonnia however described the judgment as ‘shocking’ and ‘painful,’ adding that, the Igbo leaders would pay Ekweremadu a visit soon, in high hopes that the former lawmaker would come out of the experience ‘stronger and better,’

“Before now, although not as Ohanaeze, we have visited him in prison. We still intend to do so even as he begins his sentence. It is shocking and painful that an illustrious Igbo man of that calibre will be involved in this kind of sentencing. However, there is nothing we can do about it for now.

“But I believe Ekweremadu will come out stronger and better. He has always been a strong and courageous man. Ohanaeze prays he comes out healthy to face the world again,” he added.

The House of Representatives on Friday also urged Ekweremadu, to appeal the sentencing.