Ex-Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu to Spend Christmas Behind Bars
- More woes for Senator Ike Ekweremadu as he will spend the Christmas and New Year holidays behind bars
- The former deputy Senate president had tried unsuccessfully to leave the prison where he had stayed for about six months.
- The prosecution, however, told the court that Ekweremadu might not return to attend the trial if granted bail
London - Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, will spend the Christmas and New Year's Day celebrations behind bars after his bail application was refused at the Central Criminal Court, a.k.a. Old Bailey, on Tuesday, December 20.
The Guardian newspaper reports that his application for "dismissal of charges" of conspiracy to facilitate organ harvesting of David Nwamini's kidney was also thrown out alongside those of his wife, Beatrice and their daughter, Sonia.
As a result, the Ekweremadus and co-defendant, Dr Obinna Obeta, will now stand trial beginning on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
By then, Ekweremadu would have spent over seven months in prison since his arrest at Heathrow Airport on Thursday, June 23.
According to the report, Ekweremadu and Obeta attended the hearing via video links from their prisons, while Mrs Ekweremadu was physically present. But Sonia wasn't in court, having been excused due to her medical condition and ongoing dialysis.
In the bail application, the defence team argued that:
"He is a highly regarded well-known public figure. He attended COP 26 in this country and represented Nigeria on climate change discussions."
But the prosecution insisted that Ekweremadu was a flight risk and may not return to attend the trial if granted bail.
After hearing from both sides of the bench, the Judge said:
"I'm entirely satisfied there remains a flight risk, as the trial is just over a month away. In view of that, this bail application is refused."
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Ekweremadu betrayed by Nigeria, political associates - Analyst
Meanwhile, a public affairs analyst, Jide Oluwajuyitan has lamented that Nigeria and his political associates have betrayed Ekweremadu.
Writing in The Nation newspaper, Oluwajuyitan stated:
''Ekweremadu, put in detention by the British in spite of his rights and privileges, has been left to fight his own battles alone in the last six months.
''On the other hand, this past week, America and Russia by prison swap of even condemned criminals have demonstrated the essence of citizenship.''
Sonia Ekweremadu begs for kidney donor amid father's trial
In a related development, the daughter of Ekweremadu, Sonia, has released an emotional statement amid her battle with kidney disease.
Sonia, 25, begged public members to come to her aid and save her life by helping with a kidney donation.
The lawmaker's daughter, who is currently in the UK, also explained why her family members could not help her due to medical conditions.
UK-based lawyer reveals how Senator Ekweremadu is 'suffering' in jail, seeks help
On his part, a Nigerian-born lawyer based in the United Kingdom has appealed on behalf of the lawmaker.
Speaking under anonymity, the lawyer said there might be a political undertone to the challenges Ekweremadu and his family faced.
The lawyer also said Ekweremadu is not doing well regarding his health condition and is being treated harshly.