Ekweremadu to spend Christmas behind bars as UK court denies bail

Ike Ekweremadu

Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, will spend both the Christmas and New Year Day celebrations behind bars after his application for bail was refused at the Central Criminal Court in London.

Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice are facing charges of organ trafficking in the United Kingdom. A man named David Ukpo accused them of trafficking him to the UK to extract his organ for their sick daughter, Sonia.

In the pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, the court gave its verdict denying the bail on the grounds that he was a flight risk.

It was learned that the court cited the letter and assets forfeiture proceedings against the senator by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In the bail application, Ekweremadu’s lawyer had argued that the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Attorney-General of the Federal had written to the court that Ekweremadu was not a flight risk.

His defense also argued that a guarantee to produce him should he pose a flight risk was given and that the Nigeria High Commission in the UK had equally given the option of tagging Ekweremadu electronically to monitor his movement.

Referring to attestation of Ekweremadu’s character by respected Nigerians and organisations, his lawyer also argued that the lawmaker had proven to be a caring and responsible father and could not escape from London, abandoning his wife and sick daughter.

The defense further told the court that they had sureties and securities of nearly half a million pounds sterling from 11 people to secure Ekweremadu’s release on bail.

Refusing the bail application, the Judge said, “I am entirely satisfied there remains a flight risk,” noting that bail would not make much difference “as the trial is just over a month away.”

The trial of the Ekweremadus will now begin on 31st January 2023.