At the Senate plenary on Tuesday, there was no mention of former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, or his recent arrest and remand in the UK.
The Enugu West senator was arrested alongside his wife, Beatrice, last week by the London Metropolitan Police.
The Police had charged the Ekweremadus for allegedly trafficking one David Nwanini with the aim of harvesting his kidney.
The allegations were that the lawmaker brought 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 couple were tried at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in London and denied bail as the prosecutors reportedly informed the court that Mr Ekweremadu procured a passport for the boy and claimed he was 21 years old only to discover that he was 15 years old.
The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), has, however, said the age of the alleged victim of organ harvesting, David Nwamini, was 21; contradicting the claims of prosecutors in London.
The Service said 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.
Senate mum as Reps summon govt officials
Meanwhile, Nigerians expected the Senate to discuss the issue as a matter of national importance at plenary but this expectations were dashed as no one mentioned it.
Normally one of the senators from his home state would raise the matter and call for help for “one of their own” but the reverse was the case.
The two Enugu senators, Chukwuka Utazi and Chimaroke Nnamani, all members of the PDP as Mr Ekweremadu, were present at plenary and contributed to other issues that were deliberated on the floor of the Senate.
Mr Ekweremadu, 60, served as Chief of Staff and later Secretary to the Enugu State Goverment when Mr Nnamani was the governor of the state.
He later moved to the Senate in 2003 and served as deputy senate president for 12 years.
He is a member of the current ninth Senate.
It is not exactly clear if the Senate’s silence was a unanimous decision taken before Tuesday’s proceedings.
Reps wade in
But while the upper chamber decided to be silent on Mr Ekweremadu’s ordeal, their colleagues at the House of Representatives not only deliberated on it but also 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.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), Idris Jere, is also to appear before the committees.
The invitations were sequel to a motion sponsored by Abdulahi Abdulkadir (APC, Bauchi).
If convicted, the Ekweremadus may get a maximum of life sentence or 12 months imprisonment or a fine or both on summary conviction under the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The Act read, “A person guilty of an offence under Section 1 or 2 is liable (a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life; (b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine or both.”
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