UK Court Adjourns Ekweremadu’s Trial, Wife Absent

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UK Court Adjourns Ekweremadu’s Trial, Wife Absent

 

The Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday adjourned the trial of a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on charges of conspiracy and organ harvest.

He faces a charge of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person for exploitation under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

With the adjournment, the lawmaker will remain in custody until his next court date on July 7, 2022.

The embattled senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District appeared in court in London for a second time on Thursday wearing a grey tracksuit and holding a bible, according to a BBC report.

The report claimed no bail application was made and Ekweremadu will remain in custody until his next appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ court on July 7.

It said the consent of the attorney general is required for the case to continue because part of the alleged offence was committed outside of the United Kingdom.

Ekweremadu’s wife Beatrice, 55, is charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of another person for exploitation and will appear in court later due to a delay in her transport from prison.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on Wednesday disclosed that the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom has engaged the services of lawyers to defend Ekweremadu and his wife.

Lawan made this known on Wednesday while giving details about the outcome of a closed session held by the upper chamber before the start of plenary proceedings.

Lawan said a delegation from its Committee on Foreign Affairs would depart Nigeria for London on July 1, 2022, to pay a visit to the embattled couple presently in detention over an allegation of organ harvesting.

According to Lawan, the decision to wade into Ekweremadu’s arrest and detention was against the backdrop of a briefing received by the Nigerian High Commissioner to London.

He further disclosed that the Senate would engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian High Commission in London on the recent arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu by the London Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.

He said, “I had a personal engagement with our Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain, Alhaji Isola Sarafa, who has done so well to establish contact with our colleague, who has been able to get his team to be in the court at Uxbridge where Ekweremadu was taken to.

“The high Commission has also been able to provide some consular services that include the engagement of some lawyers who will defend our colleague.

“We commend them for giving attention to the issue at stake. Equally, the Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister has been engaged here, so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes steps to provide diplomatic support for our colleague.

“Because this issue is already in court, we have limited opportunity to discuss beyond what we have done so far.

“But I want to ensure the family of our colleague, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Nigerians, that the Senate will continue to engage with our ministry of foreign affairs as well as our high commission in London.

“The High Commission has done so much but we still expect that it will continue to provide any other further consular services.

“We have also mandated our committee on foreign affairs to engage with the British high commission here in Nigeria, to find more details on this case, as as far as the high commission is involved.

“There will be a delegation to London to see Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife. A delegation from the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate will leave in the next two days to London for that purpose.

“I want to urge all federal government institutions that can do anything to ensure that justice prevails in this case, that they do so.”

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