Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, sent a letter to the British judge that convicted Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, of organ trafficking.
The former President pleaded with the Chief Clerk of the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey in London in a letter to step in and guarantee that the UK government in this case balanced justice with mercy.
Ekweremadu and his wife were found guilty of organ trafficking by a London judge, and they now face a potential 10-year prison term under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015.
Ekweremadu and his wife were remanded in prison following Mr. Justice Johnson’s guilty verdicts, and they will be sentenced on May 5.
The Ekweremadus were arrested and had been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.
But, Obasanjo, in his letter dated April 3, 2023, said the Ekweremadus have learnt their lesson from the ordeal, urging the court and UK government to show clemency.
The letter read in part, “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 for 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 urgent medical attention, you will use your good offices to intervene and appeal to the court and the government of the 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 and will continue to contribute fully to the good of the society in particular and the nation in general.”