Ike Ekweremadu: The Rise & Fall
Nigeria’s Former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu was recently sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison in the United Kingdom (UK) for driving a plot to harvest a kidney for his sick daughter. His story has been greeted by diverse reactions from different calibres of individuals around the nation.
While some defend his actions as a father’s love for a child, others critically condemn his actions. As the converse rages on, it becomes necessary to examine the trajectory of this Nigerian Senator. Doing that will involve providing answers to certain questions. Who was Ekweremadu before this incident? How did he become a deputy leader of the Senate? This article takes a closer look at the life and career of Ike Ekweremadu, examining the factors that contributed to his rise, the challenges he faced along the way, and the events that led to his eventual downfall.
The Learned Fellow who became a politician
Ekweremadu graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a Law degree and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. Ekweremadu also holds a master’s and doctorate degree in Law. His political journey began in 1997 when he was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Aninri Local Government Council, Enugu State on the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP). Pioneering the new local government, Ekweremadu built a local government secretariat at Ndeaboh and was given the Best Council Chairman Award.
From Chairman to Chief of Staff
Ike who lost his reelection bid as local government chairman later joined Dr Chimaroke Nnamani’s team. In no distant time, Ekweremadu became the Director-General of the Nnamani campaign organisation. When Nnamani was elected Governor of Enugu State in 1999, Ekweremadu was appointed Chief of Staff. He later served as Secretary to the State Government in that administration. Reports attribute the transformation witnessed in Mpu, Aninri, Enugu West, Nomeh Unataeze and many parts of Enugu State to Ekweremadu.
How the Secretary became a Senator
Moving from the state level, Ekweremadu was elected into the Senate in 2003. Serving as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, he fought corruption by investigating the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. El-Rufai was later charged with corruption in 2008. Elected as the deputy president of the Senate in 2007, Ekweremadu oversaw more than 26 projects/interventions in Enugu East senatorial district,15 projects in Enugu North senatorial district, and more than 270 projects and interventions in Enugu West senatorial district.
Also, over 4,143 undergraduates benefitted from his Foundation’s Bursary Awards across the Enugu State. While 106 students have received full university scholarships, going on to become successful professionals and businessmen and women, 12,207 persons have been educated through the Ikeoha Foundation Adult Programme.
Recognising his nationalistic efforts, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appointed him to lead an ad hoc committee that advocated for the return of constitutional order in the Niger Republic. He was reelected as Senator for Enugu West in 2011 and 2019. However, his woes started when he lost his bid to become Deputy Senate President of the Nigerian 9th Senate to Ovie Omo-Agege.
His IPOB attack in Germany
Ekweremadu was attacked by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB when he attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nuremberg. According to reports, IPOB members challenged his alleged role in the proscription of IPOB in Nigeria.
From questioning, these members went ahead to drag Ekweremadu out of the venue, assaulting and pelting him with eggs. IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu later described the attack as a warning to Igbo governors who supported the killings of Igbos when the Nigerian army staged Operation Crocodile Smile and Python Dance
Ekweremadu’s Fall from Grace
While Ekweremadu was mopping up plans to contest as the Governor of Enugu at the 2023 General elections, a UK Magistrate Court charged him, his wife, and Dr Obinna Obeta for conspiring to arrange the travel of a 21-year-old from Lagos into the UK in order to harvest organs. He was held on remand at HM Prison Belmarsh. Prosecutors hinted that the victim was brought to the UK to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Ekweremadu was sentenced for being dishonest, hypocritical and demonstrating an entitlement mentality.
How Transparency Amongst Security Agencies Can Help Tinubu’s Administration
Security and intelligence agencies in the country have been tasked with the importance of …