The House of Representatives has invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, to appear and brief relevant committees of the House on the ongoing trial in London of a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), Idris Jere, is also to appear before the committees.
The resolution was a sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by Abdulahi Abdulkadir (APC, Bauchi) during the plenary on Tuesday.
The London Metropolitan Police had charged Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, for allegedly trafficking David Nwanini with the aim of harvesting his kidney.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the prosecutors said the Ekweremadus were being charged for bringing a 15-year-old boy from Nigeria to the UK with the claim that he was to be given a better life in the UK but was actually to harvest his organ to treat their daughter who is suffering from kidney disease.
The age of Mr Nwanini has become a subject of controversy. The prosecutors reportedly informed the court that Mr Ekweremadu procured a passport for the boy and claimed he was 21 years old but the prosecutors discovered that he was 15 years old.
This newspaper paper reported that the NIS claimed that documents provided by Mr Nwamini from the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) gave his date of birth as October 12, 2000.
Moving the motion, Mr Abdulkadir expressed concerns over the controversy on the age of Mr Nwanini, noting that some of the emerging information may not be available to the UK police.
He described Mr Ekweremadu as “a public servant with flawless records.”
“The additional information emerging from the NIS and other legitimate sources including the visa issuing protocols at the UK High Commission, Bank Verification Number (BVN) suggest a different narrative which might not have been available to the metropolitan police at the time of arrest and charge.
“Hopeful that the authority in the United Kingdom will work with their national security and intelligence counterpart in Nigeria to conduct a holistic and thorough investigation to ascertain all the facts relating to the allegation in order to make a fair determination on the issues in the best interest of equity and justice for all concerned,” he said.
In his contribution, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said an investigation on the matter is ongoing.
He said that he has reached out to the “High Commissioner in the UK. I still spoke with him this morning and he has been very proactive. He has done all that needs to be done. The Queen’s Counsel has been made available to Ekweremadu. He has access to him.”
Mr Abdulkadir, who appeared not to be satisfied with the intervention by the speaker, claimed that Mr Ekweremadu’s rights and status are not being respected.
“We cannot have a situation where a simple allegation that has not been thoroughly investigated’ will lead to the conviction of Mr Ekweremadu.
He added that “but from what is happening so far, we feel that all the privileges and status that he (Ekweremadu) is supposed to enjoy has been thrown to the dustbin.”
Also speaking on the matter, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu), said there is a need for justice for Mr Ekweremadu.
Consequently, the House further resolved that the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the High Commission of Nigeria to the United Kingdom should take all necessary steps possible to ensure that Mr Ekweremadu and his wife are provided with all consular services as they may require in this critical time.
It also resolved that the agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and relevant corporate bodies— particularly the NIMC, NIS and banks should act swiftly to respond to a legitimate request for information to facilitate the prompt resolution of the charges against them.
The motion was adopted when it was put to vote by the speaker.
Meanwhile, the Senate was mum on the matter when it reconvened on Tuesday.
Mr Ekweremadu served as deputy senate president for 12 years and is still a member of the current Senate.
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