- A Nigerian lawyer has thrown more light on the charges levelled against a former deputy president of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu
- Adoyi Abakpa said the lawmaker and his wife Beatrice might in on a long road to jail because child trafficking is a serious offence in the UK and also in Nigeria.
- According to Abakpa, if the lawmaker and his colleagues had sponsored bills to have a better health care system in Nigeria, he probably would not be suffering his current ordeal
Popular Port Harcourt-based human rights lawyer, Adoyi Abakpa has reacted to the ongoing controversy surrounding the alleged organ harvesting involving senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife.
Abakpa’s earlier position on the Hijab controversy Abakpa had earlier addressed the media on the ruling of the Supreme Court which allowed the wearing of hijab in schools.
His reaction came after a controversial Lagos-based lawyer appeared in court in a native doctor's attire.
The Port Harcourt-based human rights lawyer had threatened to appear in full juju costumes in his next court appearance.
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The implication of charges against Nigerian lawmaker
But when Legit.ng contacted the lawyer on his position regarding Ekweremadu's alleged crime about the organ harvesting, he said even though the lawmaker erred in so many ways, it would have been avoided if not for the several years of neglect of the medical sector by the government.
Abakpa said Ekweremadu and other lawmakers had the opportunity of turning things around in the health sector but did nothing.
Giving his legal interpretation of the controversial issue, Abakpa said Ekweremadu and his wife were charged with the offence of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travelling of another person with a view to exploitation, namely, organ harvesting in the UK.
According to the lawyer, the offence is very serious because it is child trafficking; which he said was a serious offence in the UK and also in Nigeria.
"The alleged offence can be tried in Nigeria or in the UK where the accused persons were arrested and detained. This is because the act constituting the offence commenced in Nigeria and was completed in the UK.
"Here in Nigeria, the offence is child trafficking under the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Act."
Organ donor's age and consent
According to Agbakpa facts available from the cases show that Ekweremadu may rely on the defence of consent on the part of the boy.
"But the age of the boy is alleged to be only 15 years. He is still a minor by definition. In the UK the majority age is 16 while it is 18 in Nigeria.
"A minor lacks the statutory capacity to give consent to travel abroad with a person who is not his relative and to take the risk of harvesting his own organ such as the kidney.
Such consent even if given by the boy is null and void and can also be proved to have been induced and obtained by fraud, considering the status/position of Ekwueremadu in the society vis-a-vis the circumstances of the poor boy who was homeless and picked from the street, according to the report."
Lack of quality health care service delivery and sins of politicians
Abakpa noted that it is unfortunate that things have fallen apart for Ekweremadu because the boy had seen and experienced good life for just a few days in the UK, and decided not to be returned to Nigeria which has been shattered by politicians like Ekweremadu.
He also confirmed that there are lessons to be learnt from Ekweremadu's case, especially after the lawmaker has spent his 20th year in the Senate with 12 years as deputy Senate president.
According to Abakpa, the lawmaker could have used the time to get Nigeria a world-class kidney hospital but he misused the opportunity probably because he did not know that he or any member of his family will one day need kidney treatment.
"Or if they would ever need one, he, like other political office holders in Nigeria, believed family members would go on medical tours abroad. He saw nothing wrong with the total neglect of the health sector.
“If Ekweremadu with all his years as a Federal Senator and as Deputy Senate President for 12 years had done his bit to introduce bills and/or sponsor bills to fix the health sector, he would not be facing the present embarrassment in the UK.
"It is a natural law that whatsoever a man sows he shall reap."
UK prosecutors finally reveal how Senator Ike Ekweremadu, wife were arrested
Senator Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested on their way to Istanbul, Turkey, prosecutors in the United Kingdom have said.
The lawmaker and his wife Beatrice were arrested by police officers in the United Kingdom at the Heathrow Airport.
Ekweremadu has been accused of an attempt to harvest the organs of a 15-year-old boy alongside his wife.
13 days after his appointment, UK university bans Ike Ekweremadu over organ harvesting trial
The University of Lincoln had banned Senator Ike Ekweremadu from undertaking any duties at the institution
The ban from the university comes barely 13 days after the lawmaker was appointed a visiting professor at the University of Lincoln England
According to the spokesperson of the institution, the university is deeply concerned about the nature of these allegations against Ekweremadu