In his remarks during the valedictory session for the outgoing senators of the 9th Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, representing Ekiti Central, called upon President Bola Tinubu to engage in diplomatic efforts to secure the release of Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP-Enugu), who is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom. Senator Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, was convicted of organ trafficking in May and sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison. Senator Opeyemi, who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, emphasized that the unfortunate situation faced by Ekweremadu could have befallen any parent. The sentencing took place at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, UK.
“My heart goes to that gentleman distinguished Sen. Ike Ekweremadu,” he said.
Bamidele urged Tinubu to employ all available diplomatic strategies to secure the release of Ekwremadu.
Bamidele also expressed his condolences for the loss of four senators who passed away while representing their respective senatorial districts in the National Assembly. The senators include: Sen. Bayo Osinowo (Lagos East), Sen. Rose Oko (Cross River North), Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo North), and Sen. Ignatius Longjam (Plateau South).
Furthermore, he extended his gratitude to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, for providing him with the opportunity to serve as the chairman of the committee on judiciary, human rights, and legal matters.
“On behalf of all of us in the committee, it was a wonderful opportunity you gave us to add value.
“Under your watch, our committee participated in the passage of very important bills.
“Our committee was also responsible for the speedy confirmation of two Chief Justices of Nigeria and President Court of Appeal and five other Chief Judges of different courts in this country.
“Nigeria’s story is not going to be the same under the new administration and I call on all of us to continue to work.
“President Tinubu signed a bill that is important to us on the retirement age of our judges.
“Under your watch, the budget of the judiciary was increased geometrically from N95 billion in 2018; N110 billion in 2021; N120 billion in 2022 and 125 billion in 2023.
“It is not yet uhuru. I know the incoming senate will also do more from where you are living this baton.”