Organ Harvesting: Ohanaeze Meets British Envoy, Pleads Leniency For Ekweremadus

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has appealed to the British government for leniency for the jailed former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

Ekweremadu and his wife, alongside a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, were in May jailed by the United Kingdom (UK) over an organ trafficking plot.

The UK court sentenced Ekweremadu to nine years and eight months in prison; Beatrice bagged four years and six months while the doctor was jailed for 10 years.

However on Tuesday, Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of Enugu Province of the Anglican Communion, made the plea when the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo received the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, at the national secretariat of the body in Enugu.

He said: “There is a very important issue we have to bring to your attention. You’re aware of the case of Nigeria’s former deputy Senate president, Ekweremadu, who was convicted and is in jail in your country. He’s from this state and we all know the circumstance he got entangled in that incident because he wanted to save his daughter

“He is already serving a jail term. It’s unfortunate but it has happened. I testified for him during the trial and in fact, the judge mentioned my name two times while delivering his judgment.

“But we’re using this opportunity of your visit to ask for leniency for him so that he doesn’t spend the number of years in jail. We have accepted the judgment, but are saying if there’s anything that could be done to reduce the jail term.

READ ALSO: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Berates FG As UK Imprisons Ekweremadu, Wife

“He’s from this area and if we don’t bring this thing up as Ohanaeze or from us here, concerning this important son of Igboland, it wouldn’t be nice of us. We are quite overwhelmed.”

Meanwhile, in Ohanaeze’s wish list presented by its President General, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the organisation appealed for the setting up of British Visa office in the South East.

According to him, the zone accounts for about 60 percent of Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom and stressed that it was unfair they were being subjected to travelling to Abuja and Lagos to procure visa.

Iwuanyanwu recalled the long relationship between Nigeria and Britain while appealing for bilateral collaboration to grow and develop the economy of the region.

He further identified insecurity that has culminated to Monday sit-at-home as part of the challenges threatening the economy of the region, explaining that the new leadership of Ndigbo was working hard to overcome it.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, he said, would soon set up a business council of eminent businessmen and assured it would like to collaborate with the High Commission for mutual economic benefits.

On his part, Montgomery, who said he was on tour of the South East, said the visit would afford him opportunity to interact on areas of mutual collaboration with the British government.

He said the micro-economic indices in Nigeria had not been encouraging for investments, but the Federal Government’s recent decisions would increase incentives for investors.

While stressing that “the City of London is looking at these changes with great interest,”he said the British government would continue to advocate for peace in the country.