The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and the South-East Senate Caucus have faulted the temporary forfeiture of 40 property belonging to a former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The embattled lawmaker has been in prison custody in the United Kingdom over an organ harvesting case involving him and his wife, Beatrice, since June.
Ohanaeze, in a statement on Saturday, through its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, described as hasty the ex parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on which the judgment was based, citing Ekweremadu’s travails in the UK.
The Igbo socio-cultural group said the EFCC’s action fell short of ethical standards and natural justice.
It maintained that Ekweremadu should be given the opportunity to defend himself and if wanting, should face the consequences.
“We are aware that there are several allegations of corruption cases pending in the EFCC but the urgency and selective judgment in the case of Ekweremadu are not only curious but indeed true to type.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on all the Nigerian legal luminaries of goodwill to intervene against gradual steps towards totalitarianism in Nigeria,’’ it stated.
Speaking in the same vein, the South-East Caucus of the Senate submitted that the ruling on forfeiture of the senator’s property has the height of malice.
The acting leader of the caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe who spoke to Sunday PUNCH on Saturday said the caucus and the Senate were in talks with the Federal government over the ruling.
Abaribe said, “Such ruling is the height of malice; it‘s like kicking a man when he is down, not giving a citizen a chance to defend himself. We are engaging with the Federal Government and the Senate is also doing the same.”
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