Ekweremadu: Nigerian laws should protect citizens from exploitation — Lawyer

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By Adeyemi Adeleye

A Lagos based Legal Practitioner, Mr Jide Ologun, on Friday called for stronger institutions and implementation of  Nigerian laws to protect citizens from all forms of exploitations for a  better nation.

Ologun, a constitution lawyer, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in reaction to the   conviction of the  former Nigerian Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu by a UK Court

Ekweremadu, his wife, and one other,  were found guilty of attempted organ harvest on  a a Nigerian  trafficked  to Britain to provide a kidney for his ailing daughter.

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A statement from the British  Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed the conviction.

Ekweremadu (60), his wife Beatrice (56), and Nigerian doctor Mr.Obinna Obeta (51), were convicted by a British  court  for  conspiring to exploit a young man trafficked to London .

“This is the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act,” he said.

The lawyer told NAN that until Nigerians began to realise there would be consequences for their actions, the society would not be saner.

He said that Section 15 subsection 5 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), stipulated that the state shall abolish corrupt practices and abuse of office.

“A veritable tool for accomplishing that is the enforcement of our law and the rule of law states that nobody is above the law,” he said.

“When people begin to realise that there are consequences for actions, then it will help us to start fighting corruption and abuse of office in the land,” Ologun said.

Highlighting some of the lessons Nigeria could draw from the  conviction, Ologun said that criminal justice ecosystem rested on three pillars of investigation, diligent prosecution, and committed judiciary.

He explained that with the Rule of Law given premium space, nobody was  above the law as the conviction of the law maker  would serve as  a bedrock for the mindset of service for office holders.

“This means, it does matter the office you hold in the land, if you flout the laws of the land, there shall be consequences and that is the example the UK is setting and some other countries of the world.

“And by extension, even those who have not started constituting nuisance to the society will learn from this and it therefore has a preventive impact on the society.

“Again we have to use the laws of the land to protect the citizens from exploitations.

“We can see tha young man that the UK laws are seeking vehemently to protect because from the evaluation of the law, that action turned out more to be exploitations, the organ harvest and the laws of the United Kingdom frown at it like some other countries.

“So, the basic things here is that if we don’t implement our laws, they remain lame but if we implement them, they become effective and that will help us to sanitise our society and put the nation on the path of development.”

According to him, the fact that Nigeria does not implement its laws does not mean some countries do not implement theirs.

Ologun said that law implementation was the only way Nigeria could build a strong system that would help in sanitising the society.

The lawyer added: “We just have to wait for the final verdict on this case.

“We have followed how the prosecution has gone, it has been thorough, focused on issues, even when the Nigerian influence tried to bring political angle to it, the justice system was not distracted from focusing on issues.

“Former governor of Delta State could not be processed through Nigerian criminal justice mill, but was arrested in UAE, extradited to the UK, prosecuted and jailed 13 years for specific crimes.

He said that Nigerians were awaiting the verdict pronouncement which would be given in later date by the UK Court. (NAN)

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