Erstwhile Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, made a surprise appearance in court, yesterday, as the conspiracy to harvest organ trial kicked off inside Courtroom 2 at Old Bailey.
On trial with his wife, Beatrice, their daughter, Sonia and Dr. Obinna Obeta, Ekweremadu was ushered into the dock just after 11:00a.m. (12 noon Nigerian time). He appeared relaxed in a grey sleeveless T-shirt and trouser of same colour. His wife arrived, thereafter, but their daughter was absent. The prosecutor later informed the court that she’s “in hospital.”
Asked by the clerk whether he is Ike Ekweremadu, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) senator responded in the affirmative. The wife gave same response when probed.
Subsequently, the court adjourned till 3:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. after the prosecutor had informed the judge that the defence had only replied part of the questions asked on Monday evening and needed to study it. A proposal, which sailed through.
When the court resumed at 3:00p.m., the prosecution pressed the delay button as it did in the morning.
“The invitation, my Lord, is to rise again,” the prosecutor said, adding that they will be ready at 10:00a.m. or 12 noon tomorrow.”
The judge then sought clarification, saying: “Are you asking me to sit at 10:00a.m. or 12noon ?”
The prosecutor replied: “12 noon please.”
But before adjourning, Sonia’s lawyer prayed the court “to permit Miss Ekweremadu not to attend because she is on dialysis.”
The judge responded: “In principle, we’ll be flexible to permit your client to be excused when necessary. But it seemed her lawyer wanted her to be excused for the entire day, as he stated that tomorrow is not an argument day for the prosecution.”
Perhaps, not wanting to concede more ground than necessary, the judge asked: “Is she able to attend at 2:00p.m.?”
On saying ‘yes’, the arbiter stated: “she’s excused from attending at 12 noon.”
Ekweremadu has been in custody since being arrested with the wife on June 23,2022. She was granted bail afterward, while the senator was denied. The trial is to commence today.
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