Senator Ike Ekweremadu & Wife, Beatrice.
By Ejike Ikezuagu – UK.
A UK lawyer, Barr. Harry Fenton has said, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice would have pleaded guilty in the magistrate court last Thursday before the matter was transferred to the Old Bailey.
The Nigerian politician, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was recently charged in the UK Court with his wife, Beatrice for Conspiracy on Modern Day Slavery and their case has now been transferred to the Old Bailey where the jury will decide their fate, Ogene Ndigbo Newspaper gathered.
The Old Bailey is a law court where cases against people accused of serious crimes are tried by a jury.
At the Magistrate Court last Thursday, Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice pleaded not guilty on the organ harvesting charges levelled against them. On if the case will be tried in Nigeria, or UK, Ogene Ndigbo Newspaper gathered that the case will be tried in the United Kingdom.
The Nigerian politician, Senator, Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice were brought to the court from their respective prisons. There was a delay in the court as the wife, Beatrice was stuck on a traffic while on prison vehicle on her way to the court from the women’s prison in Ashford, Kent.
In the court, the defence council proved that David Ukpo is 21, and not a minor as claimed. However, there was no bail application by the defence council for Senator Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice.
Barr. Harry Fenton, a UK lawyer described the case as one of the biggest, and very significant in the history of Nigeria, outside the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. He regretted that Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice did not plead guilty when asked.
He said, if I am the Council to Senator, Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice I would have pleaded guilty in the magistrate court, because the maximum sentence in the magistrate court is 12 months with option of fine, or community sentence.
He stated that, pleading guilty at the magistrate court would have reduced the possibility of conviction with terms of imprisonment at the crown court, but the couple never pleaded guilty which made the case to be transferred to the Old Bailey where the jury will decide the fate of the couple.
It was gathered that there are serious implications to the result of this case as the main charges have probably and slightly shifted from organ harvesting to becoming complex.
On if the charges can be changed, Barr Fenton said, the Crown Prosecution can change the charges at any point of time.
Ike Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice were charged for conspiracy on modern day slavery, but as the matter has been moved out of the magistrate court to Old Bailey, it will be complex, he said.
He further stated that before verdict, prosecution can change charges.
In attendance at the court were some members of Nigerian Senate, led by Senator Adamu Muhmmad Bulkchuwa, and delegation from the Nigerian High Commission, London, UK, Chief Oliseh Metu, a former National Publicity Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator David Mark, former Nigeria Senate President, Chief Enyinna Abaribe, former Minority Leader, and Chief Tobi Okechukwu, former House of Rep member for Oji River Ani Nri and Awgu. Others in attendance were UK based barristers, including Bar Harry Fenon, Bar Innocent Okey Chukwuezie, a Dublin based solicitor, a friend and classmate of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and Chief Obizie.