Connect with us

BIG STORY

“Organ Harvesting”: Ekweremadu’s Daughter Loses Bid To Get Excused From Trial

Published

on

Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, sat motionless from his prison yesterday, as his daughter’s application to not stand trial with him and her mother for their “conspiracy to harvest organ” charges was thrown out by Justice Johnson at the Old Bailey.

Sonia, 25, was in the dock with her mother, Beatrice. But the senator who followed proceedings via video link looked unmoved as the judge ruled that she was not unfit to stand a “criminal trial lasting seven weeks” as her defence barrister, Femi Oni, had argued.

But it was a day of the battle of expert witnesses as both her barrister and the Crown prosecutor used the testimonies and reports of expert witnesses to back their arguments in the courtroom.

After tabling the application for “stay of proceedings” on the basis that “she’s unfit” medically and psychologically due to her ongoing thrice a week dialysis, both sides of the bench led their expert witnesses in testimonies via video link, beginning with the Manchester-based professor that Oni had lined up.

After being sworn in, the defence asked him: “Did you have opportunity to get consultation with her before writing his report?” He replied with a “yes.” Asked if he has a report on “what she’s suffering from?” the professor told the court that, “she’s developed from a young age, a kidney condition” that led to a gradual dysfunction and consequently, “her life is dependent on dialysis treatment until she has a kidney transplant.”

Led in further testimony, he told the court the treatment has placed psychological, mental and medical burdens on her as it does on other dialysis patients. The professor also relied on the report of a consultant psychiatrist.

Davies, on his part, had Dr. Andrews as his expert witness. Though he admitted having not had any direct consultation with Sonia, but did say if the court schedule of sitting times was moved to afternoons to accommodate her treatment days that she’s capable of standing trial. Andrew told the court in his testimony that “the residual symptoms of dialysis do not make it impossible to attend trial.”

After listening to the barristers and their expert witnesses, including their reports, and acknowledging that the treatment takes its toll on her and that she’s even had to withdraw from her Masters degree programme after her diagnosis, the judge said it is not confirmed that her recovery or clinical care could suffer if she were to stand trial. He then ruled that, “accordingly, the application is dismissed.”

Senator Ekweremadu, who has been in custody since June 23, 2022, was seen in what seemed like a blue blazer on a white shirt.

BIG STORY

UBA Takes Centre Stage At 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum In Cotonou, Benin As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

Published

on

Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

JUST IN: FG Working To Reduce Rising Food Prices Inherited From Past Government — Finance Minister Wale Edun

Published

on

Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however emphasized the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Speaking at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, the finance minister acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians and outlined measures taken to alleviate their suffering.

He revealed that, as part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

JUST IN: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Representatives

Published

on

A bill proposing the establishment state police has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the house, and 14 others, the bill proposes to transfer the term “police” in the 1999 constitution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill, which comprises 18 clauses, seeks to amend sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89, 129 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the constitution.

 

More to come…

Continue Reading

Most Popular