Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to the British Government to temper justice with mercy over the conviction of former Nigerian Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, for organ harvesting.
Obasanjo made the appeal in a letter dated April 3, 2023 , and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta by the former president’s media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.
The letter was addressed to the Chief Clerk, the Central Criminal Court, London.
The former president appealed for clemency for the Nigerian couple.
Obasanjo called on the clerk to intervene and appeal to the court and the government of the United Kingdom to be magnanimous enough to temper justice with mercy.
He sought for punishment that might have to come take their good character and parental instinct and care into consideration.
Obasanjo, who admitted to the implications of the Ekweremadus’ action, said that it was unpleasant and condemnable and could not be tolerated in any sane or civilised society.
He asked the united kingdom to consider the very warm relationship between the United Kingdom and Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He urged the UK to consider the daughter in question whose current health condition was in danger and required an urgent medical attention.
“It is with great pleasure that I write in respect of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who I have known for over two decades.
“Within this period, I have followed and watched, with keen interest, Ike Ekweremadu’s inspiring career which traversed private legal practice and public administration.
“I recall, with fond memories, the beginnings of our political and social relationship at the outset of our collective quest for democratic rebirth for our fatherland.
“During my administration as a democratically-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, Ike Ekweremadu and I had close relationship and interactions as staunch members of our political party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Within this period of his service in the Nigerian Parliament, he has served as Deputy Senate President of the Senate and has headed so many Committees.
“I truly cherish his God-fearing, dispassionate, moderate and pan-Nigerian approach to national issues and developments, in our multi-ethnic, multi-religious geo-polity.
“He dedicates himself to the service of God and humanity and he continues to play visible roles in national development.
“Mr. Chief Clerk, I am very much aware of the current travails and conviction of Ike Ekweremadu and his wife in the United Kingdom resulting from their being charged with conspiring to arrange the travel of a 21-year old from Nigeria to the UK in order to harvest organs for their daughter.
“I do realise the implications of their action and I dare say, it is unpleasant and condemnable and can’t be tolerated in any sane or civilised society.
“However, it is my fervent desire that for the very warm relations between the United Kingdom and Federal Republic of Nigeria; for his position as one of the distinguished Senators in the Nigerian Parliament, and also for the sake of their daughter in question whose current health condition is in danger and requires an urgent medical attention.
”You will use your good offices to intervene and appeal to the court and the government of United Kingdom to be magnanimous enough to temper justice with mercy and let punishment that may have to come take their good character and parental instinct and care into consideration.
“I do hope Mr. and Mrs. Ekweremadu have learnt from this distressing experience of theirs to guide their future actions or inactions so they will continue to be outstanding members of their community,” Obasanjo said.