The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to intervene in the court case of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who is facing trial over an allegation that he wanted to harvest an organ of one David Nwamini in the United Kingdom.
Ohanaeze said this in a press release on Sunday to react to the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami that the federal government will not intervene in the matter.
In a statement titled ‘Ekweremadu: Ohanaeze disagrees with Malami, calls for FG’s intervention’ signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, the group disagreed with Malami, adding that the government has engaged in matters concerning Nigerians abroad like that of Ekweremadu.
Ohanaeze stated further that any humiliation meted out to the Nigerian lawmaker is an injury to Nigeria as a whole, as it called on the government to deploy its diplomatic exploits to intervene and bring the case to the country.
The statement reads: “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has disagreed with the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that “the Federal Government of Nigeria will not interfere with any local or international legal battle involving the former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, who is currently facing trial for alleged organ harvest in the United Kingdom”.
“Malami disclosed this to journalists on Thursday at the 46th Session of the State House Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The AGF further claimed that “it has never been the tradition of the Nigerian government to interfere in anything judicial, local or international”.
“Ohanaeze informs that cultural relativism is a vital factor in International relations. It connotes that the norms and values of one culture should not be evaluated using the norms and values of another. In fact, it is the mosaic of cultures and the liberty for groups or nations to exercise their cultural rights that form the basics of international relations. To this end, sovereigns usually interfere to save their citizens in foreign countries.
“In the case involving Ekweremadu, it should be recalled that the former Deputy President of the Senate had written to the UK High Commission to support a visa application of a “donor” listed as David Ukpo Nwamini. In the letter, Ekweremadu made a full disclosure that Mr. Ukpo was undergoing “medical investigations for a kidney donation to his daughter”. The full name of the UK hospital was also stated and nothing shady.
“The Ekweremadu letter to the British Embassy was unequivocal. He indicated the purpose of his travel and also requested the Embassy to grant a visa to Mr Ukpo for a stated purpose. We view Ekweremadu’s full disclosure as proof of non-criminal intent.
“We are persuaded to join Sadiq Obanoyen and several others to ask if it was not unconscionable or even conspiracy on the part of the British government to issue a visa to David Nwamini following full disclosure by the Senator that Nwamini was travelling to the UK for organ donation, but only to do 360 degrees and charge the Senator and his wife for facilitating illegality? In other words, would it not have been fair and just to refuse a visa to Nwamini in the first place, citing the UK modern slavery legislation, especially as the UK is never known to be so generous with visa to Nigerians?