Abuja based Constitutional Lawyer and Rights Activist, Dr. Kayode Ajulo has explained why he showed up in Court popularly known as Old Bailey on Thursday August 4, 2022 in solidarity for former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice.
Ekweremadu, a lawyer and district Senator in Nigeria and his wife are accused of conspiring to traffic a 21-year-old man so that his organ could be removed and given to their daughter.
Ajulo in a chat with veracitydesk.com.ng
publisher as well as other local and international journalists via zoom, Friday afternoon said Ekeremadu’s case is one of numerous reasons why he is in UK, and that his being at Old Bailey is to represent some interest as the organ harvesting case, to many Nigerians and Africans and some rights organisations is of interests.
He stressed that he appeared in Court on Thursday to see for himself if the fundamental rights of the Nigerian lawmaker and that of his wife have not been violated, adding that what Ekweremadu and wife are accused of, is bailable.
The constitutional lawyer added that the ugly precedents of bail jumping set by former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye shouldn’t be used as reasons why Ekweremadu shouldn’t be granted bail in this instance.
He noted that Ekweremadu’s wife has already been granted bail and she has also been appearing in Court without any record of legal infraction that could raise suspicion.
Ajulo said the regard accorded Beatrice should equally be extended to Ike Ekweremadu, pointing out that he is a respected Nigerian politician with high moral rectitude and that he is a lawyer with integrity, known for his sheer advocacy in the defense and promotion of rule of law, while also hinting that such individual cannot jump bail.
“From the little snippets I gathered from Thursday Court proceedings, presided over by Judge Richard Marks QC, the Common Serjeant of London, I realized that more arrest would still be made in this case.
“I understand that a co-defendant, Obinna Obeta, from Southwark, South London, has also been charged under the Modern Slavery Act with a conspiracy with Ike Ekweremadu to arrange or facilitate the travel of the man with a view to him being exploited, and a second charge of arranging the travel of a man with a view to him being exploited between August last year and this May.
“Ekeremadu’s case is one of the several reasons why I’m in UK, my being there is to represent some interest as the case to many Nigerians and Africans and some rights organisations is of interests.
“This case has generated humongous interest, don’t forget that Nigerian government as a sovereign state is interested, National Assembly is interested the likes of Senator Bulkachuwa, Senator James Manager, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu a ranking member of the National Assembly and others flew in from Nigeria for the matter.
Etiaba, SAN and other senior members of the Bar were there don’t also forget that Senator Ekeremadu is a complete Bar man, some years back we were co-panelist at a session of the Annual General Conference of the NBA and as a PhD holder in law and researcher we have exchanged many ideas on the promotion of law and development of our body of law.”
“I was emotionally troubled yesterday when I saw Nigeria’s ranking Senator and a three-time Deputy Senate President appearing at Court via videolink from HMP Wandsworth, he couldn’t make physical presence at the Court. His wife is on bail and was placed in the Old Bailey dock too. The trial of this case will not commence until May 2, 2023, while further hearing in the matter has been scheduled for October 31. So there is no basis for keeping the man in custody in perpetuity and denying him freedom” he stated.
“The unfair precedents of bail jumping set by former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye shouldn’t be used as reasons why Ekweremadu shouldn’t be granted bail. Here is a man who is consistent in defending and promoting rule of law, he isn’t just a lawyer but he has Phd in law, so the likelihood of him jumping bail as a parliamentarian cannot arise.
“Denying Ekweremadu bail will amount to violation of his fundamental rights and this also negates the principles the United Kingdom stands for, which is justice, fairness, rule of law and equality. But unfortunately having appeared in Old Bailey on Thursday to see for myself if the fundamental rights of Ekweremadu and that of wife have not been violated, with what I saw, I pray that Judge Richard Marks QC will be firm and fair going forward.”
“United Kingdom has no constitution but the system subscribes to human right, this is the home of rule of law, writ of rights, habeas corpus and the United Kingdom is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings.” Ajulo stated.