OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Isa Jere Idris, and the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz Abubakar.
The public officials are invited to brief the Green Chamber through the relevant committees on all necessary actions taken with respect to the arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu West).
It also mandated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom to take all necessary steps possible to ensure that the embattled lawmaker and his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu are provided with all consular services they may require in this critical time.
They further requested that the agencies of the federal government as well as relevant corporate bodies; particularly the National Identity Management Commission (NİMC), Nigerian Immigration Service, and banks act swiftly in response to legitimate requests for information to facilitate the prompt resolution of the charges against them.
These resolutions were a sequel to a motion of urgent national importance brought by Abdullahi Sa’ad (APC, Bauchi) on the floor of the House on Tuesday.
“The House notes with concern, the arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a Nigerian citizen and serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, and former Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.
Further notes that Senator Ekweremadu was arrested alongside his wife Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Ekweremadu at London Heathrow airport on their arrival from Nigeria to the United Kingdom.
Aware that the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have since charged the Ekweremadus of offences relating to human trafficking and exploitation and have had them detained pending the determination of the jurisdiction issues by the Attorney-General of England and Wales.”
The lawmakers expressed displeasure over the nature and details so far available about the charges against the couple.
They also explained that the additional information emerging from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and other legitimate sources including the visa issuing protocols at the United Kingdom High Commission, Bank Verification Number (BVN) suggests a different narrative which might not have been available to the Metropolitan Police at the time of arrest and charge.
The Green Chamber, therefore, urged the authorities in the United Kingdom to work with their National Security and Intelligence counterpart in Nigeria to conduct a holistic and thorough investigation to ascertain all the facts relating to the allegation; in order to make a fair determination on the issues in the best interest of equity and justice for all concerned.
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They further expressed confidence that the federal government will through its respective organs, use all available tools to ensure that the investigation and outcome of the matter are conducted with the highest fidelity to the rule of law and with respect to the dignity of the person as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights to which the United Kingdom is a signatory.
“Aware of Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s unblemished record as a constitutional lawyer, ranking legislator at the highest level in Nigeria, West Africa sub-region and various international parliamentary bodies and foremost advocate of the right and dignity of man
Also aware that Mrs. Ekweremadu has had a flawless career in the Federal Public Service rising to the rank of director.
Mindful of the value of human life, it is imperative that Miss Ekweremadu who has a life-threatening ailment is not allowed to come in harm’s way due to the unavailability of parental care owing to their continuous detention in the United Kingdom.”