By writer to sunnewsonline.com
By Pat Onukwuli
It is not information that the previous Nigerian Deputy Senate President for 3 Consecutive tenures, Ike Ekweremadu, his spouse, and one Dr. Obinna Obeta had been on March 23, 2023, discovered responsible of organ harvesting by the Central Felony Courtroom of England and Wales on Outdated Bailey, London. On June 23, 2022, the three had been arraigned and the prosecutors advised the trial courtroom that they conspired and introduced a sufferer from Nigeria with the intention of harvesting his kidney in an £80,000 non-public transplant facility on the Royal Free Hospital, London. The courtroom cleared and acquitted the supposed recipient of the organ, Sonia (Ekweremadu’s daughter) of the identical cost. On Might 5, 2023, the courtroom delivered judgment with the sentencing of Ekweremadu to 9 years and eight months imprisonment, his spouse 4 years and 6 months and lastly Obeta, ten years.
On the face of it, the courtroom spoke eloquently and delivered justice on the matter. At any price, the courtroom system features to successfully uphold the rule of legislation which is essential in justice supply. This being the case, Ekweremadu’s excessive workplace couldn’t exculpate or get him preferential remedy for any wrongdoing. It implies that all people, no matter their social standing, political affect, wealth, or place, are topic to the identical legal guidelines and might be held accountable for his or her actions in the event that they violate these legal guidelines. Themis, the Goddess of Justice, is depicted as a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword to respectively symbolise impartiality and objectivity within the administration of justice as the ability and authority to implement justice. Themis, subsequently, speaks to the aspiration that the extraction of judgments be solely on the information and proof introduced with out the affect of non-public opinions, appearances, or different extraneous components. Philosophically, her illustration continues to function an emblem of the ideas and values that underpin the administration of justice. Due to this fact, a well-articulated judgement ought to present readability, set up a authorized precedent, and promote public belief in a judicial system. Ekweremadu’s conviction generated lots of controversies with many declaring that the proof in opposition to him was sturdy, and that he acquired a good trial and was justly convicted. On the flip facet, others disagree. Lots of his supporters claimed that he was let down and unfairly focused by the British authorities. They take into account the courtroom judgement unjust. No marvel the phrase attributed to Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist that “The legislation is an ass” suggests the frustration or criticism in the direction of the perceived flaws or absurdities of a authorized system. It equally means that the legislation can typically be illogical, unfair, missing in widespread sense, and topic to introduced proof and societal norms. Whereas some others have the view that the Ekweremadus ought to have been given the good thing about the doubt contemplating the circumstances of the case.
Sadly, in felony courtroom proceedings, the first goal is to find out whether or not an individual has dedicated against the law and, in that case, to impose an applicable punishment. The ideas of fairness, equivalent to concerns of equity, particular person circumstances, or balancing of pursuits, play a comparatively restricted function within the felony justice system in contrast to within the civil realm. Nevertheless, there could also be cases the place equitable concerns come into play throughout felony proceedings, significantly with regards to sentencing. Judges or different decision-makers may take into account components such because the defendant’s circumstances, historical past, or potential for rehabilitation when figuring out an applicable sentence throughout the authorized framework.
Proof reveals that Ekweremadu had in December 2021, written a letter to the British Excessive Fee, concerning a visa utility for his daughter, Sonia, scheduled for medical investigations for a kidney donation. Once more, Ekweremadu’s defence lawyer Hicks QC, in making his closing assertion, insisted that the sufferer, David Nwamini, the presumed sufferer of the kidney-harvesting exploitation, was not plucked off the streets of Lagos and trafficked to the UK. Neither did the proof assist what Nwamini advised the Police that he was a 15-year-old orphan who didn’t know why he was delivered to the UK. One then wonders why these weren’t items of vitiating proof in opposition to their conviction and if the British Excessive Fee did owe Ekweremadus an obligation of care. These additionally query the presence of particular parts of Actus Reus and Mens Rea that have to be confirmed to determine against the law.
Hicks, drily titled his closing assertion an Inconvenient Reality. He said that the Crown Prosecutors cashed in on Nwamini’s allegations, having realised they’d a high-profile politician whose prosecution could possibly be used to set a precedent for organ donation’s strand of the Trendy Slavery Act. As an obiter dictum, the wording of this Act is a superb injustice to what tens of millions of black individuals suffered throughout transatlantic slavery. At greatest, the phrasing is an try at historic reductionism that seeks to casualise and oversimplify the brutal and merciless historic occasions that might let beneficiaries of the illicit commerce off the hook and in so doing keep away from propitiation. On the opposite finish, it’s deliberate ambiguity and sophistry by denialists and revisionists designed for the manipulation and distortion of historic narratives for misleading functions. These tally with controversial and provocative concepts enunciated by Protagoras, which holds that fact and information are subjective and depending on a person or a tradition. From the house entrance, the Ekweremadus had been left to dry. They had been nearly deserted and uncared for to their very own units with out help or assist. The Federal Authorities and Nationwide Meeting’s intervention and help had been torpid and woeful. It took nearly one month after former President Olusegun Obasanjo intervened with a letter, he wrote to the UK courtroom pleading for leniency, for the Home of Representatives to cross a movement for attraction to the UK authorities to grant Ekweremadu and his spouse clemency. Apparently, the Speaker of the Home, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila whereas pleading for clemency stated that it behooved the federal government of any nation with a distressed citizen(s) anyplace on this planet, just like the Ekweremadu’s, to intervene. He referred to the American citizen and basket baller, Brittney Griner, who was arrested by the Russian authorities, and the way the US authorities didn’t relent for a day even because the case escalated till her launch was secured. Sadly, the Pink Chambers the place Ekweremadu was a part of its management for greater than a decade solely appealed barely forty-eight hours earlier than they had been sentenced.
Curiously, because the Ekweremadus had been incarcerated in the UK, the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee, EFCC, proceeded to courtroom and obtained an order seizing forty properties that had been linked to the embattled, Ike Ekweremadu. Nevertheless, the Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja has vacated the interim order that permitted it. In his ruling on the matter, Justice Ekwo accused the EFCC of deceptive the courtroom, stressing that the company was conscious that Ekweremadu wouldn’t be capable of come earlier than the courtroom to point out trigger since he’s in detention. This could have been a double whammy that begs the query of whether or not these are mere coincidences or different components at play.
Onukwuli, PhD, writes from Bolton, UK by way of firstname.lastname@example.org
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