The House of Representatives on Tuesday, promised to play a role in ensuring justice and fairness in the alleged case of organ harvesting involving former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.
According to the lower chamber of the National Assembly, contact will be established with their UK counterparts in order to ensure the matter is treated with all the fairness it deserves. The position of the House was made known by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila following a motion raised during plenary by a lawmaker from Bauchi State, Abdullahi Abdulkadir. According to Abdulkadir, there is the likely availability of fresh information on the matter which might not have been available to the UK Police as at the time of the arrest. He argued that the UK should work with Nigeria to “conduct a holistic and thorough investigation to ascertain all the facts relating to the allegation in order to make a fair determination on the issues in the best interest of equity and justice for all concerned”. Speaking on the motion after contributions from other lawmakers, Gbajabiamila disclosed that steps have already been taken on the matter and more will still be done. He promised to speak personally with the Speaker of the UK parliament and explore all other available diplomatic channels. “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,” Gbajabiamila said. “I would try and get in touch with the speaker of the parliament (UK) whom I was opportune to meet with and had fruitful discussions with just a couple of months ago. I believe honourable Buba Yusuf (chairman of the house committee on foreign affairs) should also get in touch with his foreign affairs counterpart in the UK parliament. “We are not talking about anything but for the parliament in the UK to make sure that Senator Ekweremadu gets the proper due process, that the rule of law is applied and that he is treated fairly on this matter. I believe the UK parliament or the congress of the United States, if their own was involved or if they have one of theirs, even a citizen, in this country that was going through the same travails, I believe that those parliaments would responsibly get involved as well. So, we must apply diplomatic pressure.” He however stressed the importance of having all the details on the matter saying, “we have to wait to gather all the facts” on the matter. The house subsequently directed the Ministry of foreign affairs and the high commission of Nigeria to the UK to take up the matter. It also tasked the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and banks to make the necessary information available. Naija News recalls Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested by the UK Metropolitan Police at the Heathrow Airport for alleged human trafficking and organ harvesting last Tuesday. They were subsequently arraigned on Thursday at the Uxbridge Magistrates Court, denied bail and remanded in police custody until July 7.
This article was originally published on Naija News