Days after a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was jailed in the United Kingdom, UK, the Federal Government of Nigeria has kept sealed lips.
It also maintained the same stance all through the time the trial lasted.
A public affairs commentator, Chuks Ibegbu, who was not comfortable with the scenario, said Ekweremadu’s case had exposed the Federal Government’s alleged double standard.
Ibegbu said the Federal Government’s silence was an indication that once a personality from a section of the country has issues, such a person is left to their fate.
It could be recalled that a London court had sentenced Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta to prison for organ harvesting.
But, while Ekweremadu’s conviction has continued to draw sympathy from Nigerians, the Federal Government has been silent.
Keen watchers say the Federal Government’s window to use diplomacy to resolve Ekweremadu’s case was lost when it failed to reach out to its UK counterpart within 24 hours after he was arrested for organ harvesting.
“Allowing the case to go to court might indicate that the Nigerian Government was interested in Ekweremadu being convicted in the UK,” a source indicated.
Also, while Ekweremadu was facing trial in the UK, the Nigerian Government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had moved for the confiscation of some of his properties in Nigeria, Dubai, and UK.
The EFCC had told an Abuja Federal High Court in Abuja in November 2022 that the properties were suspicious proceeds of crime.
Speaking with DAILY POST, Ibegbu said: “My take is that nobody is above the law, and the judicial system in London has convicted Ekweremadu, but the fact that he was a deputy Senate President and a high-ranking personality in Nigeria was enough reason for the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.
“I expected the Federal Government to have intervened in the matter and probably appealed for a reduced sentence or transferred the case down to Nigeria from London. It’s part of the inconsistency and double standard of the Federal Government on issues concerning some parts of the country.
“It might have been borne out of the double dealings that once you are from the favoured part of the country, the Government takes your matter seriously, or else you are left to your fate. Like I said again, nobody is above the law; if you commit a crime, you should face the music.
“In the past eight years, the Federal Government has been known for favouritism. Once somebody not from the favourite place falls into problems, he or she is left to their fate.
“This does not mean we are encouraging crime, but with Ekweremadu’s status, we expected the Federal Government to be proactive and intervene and send a legal team to London, irrespective of the severity of his action; he’s an official of the Federal Government.
“Ekweremadu’s conviction is the conviction of Nigeria. A high-ranking Nigerian was being tried in London and the Federal Government did not deem it fit to send a representative.
“Be that as it may, the attitude of Nigerian big men is condemnable; they treat the ordinary Nigerian like toilet paper; otherwise, Ekweremadu won’t have meddled himself in all these kinds of things, but that is the reflection of the way Nigerian big men treat ordinary people.”