Ekweremadu’s misadventure and the moral challenge
A British court recently sentenced Nigeria’s former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and a medical doctor, Mr Obinna Obeta, to jail.
At a hearing over a week ago, Ekweremadu was sentenced to prison for nine years and eight months, his wife for four years and six months, and Obeta for ten years.
The sentencing follows their conviction in March for organ trafficking. Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, whose critical health condition demanded a kidney transplant, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
It is unfortunate that the Ekweremadus found themselves in this moral impropriety which has eventually landed them prison sentences.
Many are yet to come to terms with how the trio of Ekweremadu, his wife and the medical doctor were so entangled in the mess such that after many backstage and open interventions from various quarters, they could not escape the wrath of the law.
This perhaps is because Ekweremadu’s desire to get his ailing daughter a brand new kidney began with a morally tainted process.
Ordinarily, procuring a kidney for transplant is not a new thing and is medically acceptable. But Ekweremadu tried not only to go through the back door, using undue influence and other dubious means as investigated by the British police, but he also settled for an act of deceit and transactional kidney procurement.
The aspect of commercialising the kidney transplant deal instead of opting for a wilful donor caused the fatality of the matter.
The entire scenario was against the United Kingdom’s modern slavery law of 2015.
Ekweremadu had walked into a trap knowing full well that the United Kingdom was more of a civilised clime than Nigeria where impunity thrives.
It is pathetic that Ekweremadu’s wife, who may not have spearheaded the deal, was roped in and now has been slammed a bitter sentence. But, sadly, she was an accomplice. This will tell heavily on the family, though in the legal calendar, the convicts may not run the full circle of the sentence. A substantial reduction is expected on the sentencing.
What played out in the entire scenario was the typical Nigerian attitude of reckless disregard for the rule of law and for the lives of ordinary Nigerians who the political class regard as guinea pigs created for experimental purposes. This the British judges likened to creating spare parts from humans and selling the same for various uncharitable purposes.
In Nigeria today, allegations abound of human parts being sold in hospitals, mortuaries and cemeteries. The commodification of human parts beats all sensible imaginations, yet it is a booming business across the country.
The Ekweremadu saga should dawn on the Nigerian political class that much needs to be done in terms of public enlightenment and provision of an adequate and efficient health care system as well as infrastructure.
We feel for Sonia Ekweremadu, who appears to have been left in the cold while her parents suffer incarceration in another man’s land.
We call on well-meaning Nigerians to assist Sonia in finding a genuine donor to replace her ailing kidney to help her survive the trauma and the predicament of her parents.
It is indeed a huge misadventure and a big moral challenge for the Ekweremadus.