Fact CheckPolitics

FG delegate sent to UK for Ekweremadu not arrested as claimed by this Facebook user

Claim: A Facebook user claims delegates sent to the UK to get Ekweremadu a lawyer have been arrested. 

FG delegate sent to UK for Ekweremadu not arrested as claimed by this Facebook user

Our findings and confirmation from the leader of the delegation that they are still in Nigeria shows this claim is false.

Full Text 

On Thursday, June 23, news of the arrest of Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President alongside his wife, Beatrice, for organ harvesting went viral. 

Mr Ekweremadu arrested by the London Metropolitan Police was charged with alleged trafficking of one David Nwanini with the aim of harvesting his kidney.

Reacting to this on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the Senate said it will send a delegation of its committee on foreign affairs to London to see the couple.

Following this news, a Facebook user, Inakede Denis, on Sunday July 3, 2022, in a post claimed that the delegates sent from Nigeria by the Federal Government to get a lawyer for Mr Ekweremadu were arrested by the United Kingdom (UK) Government.

FG delegate sent to UK for Ekweremadu not arrested as claimed by this Facebook user
Screenshot of the Facebook post 

The sensitivity of this case, the need to keep the public abreast of the right information, and the damage this could cause for the image of the delegates and the country, prompted us to verify this claim.

Verification

A keyword search showed no news report of this claim either by local or international media. 

DUBAWA reached out to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, via a text message and phone calls without any response. 

We also reached out to Uche Anichukwu, the spokesperson of Mr Ekweremadu, via a text message and phone calls but got no response up until the time of publishing.

A look at the website of the UK police and the UK government showed no report or press release on the said arrest so we contacted the UK Metropolitan police via text message and phone calls. As at the time of publishing, we are yet to get a response from the police. 

DUBAWA reached out to the chairman of the senate committee on foreign affairs, Adamu Bulkachuwa, who is also the leader of the delegates via a WhatsApp message. Mr Bulkachuwa responded debunking the claim while noting the team is yet to leave Nigeria for the UK. 

“I am the leader of the team and I am leaving  tomorrow,” he said. How then can a team that has not left Nigeria already be arrested in the UK?”

The senate president Ahmed Lawal said the delegates are to visit Mr Ekweremadu, not get him a lawyer as claimed in this post. Mr Lawan also disclosed that the Nigerian High Commission had engaged the services of lawyers in the UK to defend the former Deputy Senate President when he appears in court.

This report by Premium Times noted that during Mr Ekweremadu’s appearance in court on Thursday, June 30,2022, a large delegation from the Nigeria High Commission was present in the public gallery alongside two of the senator’s children.

Conclusion 

Our findings and confirmation from the leader of the delegation that they are still in Nigeria shows this claim is false. 

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