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General News of Monday, 27 June 2022


Alleged Organ Harvesting: Nigerian govt speaks on age of ‘victim’ in Ekweremadu’s case

Ike Ekweremadu Ike Ekweremadu

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), on Sunday, confirmed the age of the alleged victim of organ harvesting, David Nwamini, as 21; contradicting the claims of prosecutors in London.

Isah Idris, the comptroller general of the NIS, in a Zoom briefing with journalists, said Mr Nwanini applied for his international passport which was issued after thorough checks by the passport issuing agency.

He said the documents provided by Mr Nwamini from the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) gave his date of birth as October 12, 2000.

He added that Mr Nwanini was captured for the international passport on November 2, 2021, at the Gwagwalada office of the agency.

The London Metropolitan Police on Thursday charged former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and wife Beatrice Ekweremadu for allegedly trafficking Mr Nwanini with the aim of harvesting his kidney.

On the same day, the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in London denied the couple bail.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the prosecutors said the Ekweremadus were being charged for bringing a 15-year-old boy from Nigeria to the UK with the claim that he was to be given a better life in the UK but was actually to harvest his organ.

The prosecutors reportedly informed the court that Mr Ekweremadu procured a passport for the boy and claimed he was 21 years old but the prosecutors discovered that he was 15 years old.

Pictures of Mr Nwamini’s international passport later emerged on social media indicating his age as 21, contrary to what the prosecutors in London presented in court.

The Ekweremadus are believed to have facilitated Mr Nwamini’s trip after he agreed to donate a kidney to their sick daughter.

However, upon arriving in the UK, the young man is believed to have told the police there that he is underage and not 21 years old as stated in his passport.

According to Mr Idris, neither the Met Police who charged the senator to court nor the senator himself has contacted the NIS since the case went public.

Some lawyers have also argued that it is illegal for anyone to be procured to donate an organ in the UK, even if the person is an adult.

The trial of the Ekweremadus continues on July 7 in the UK.

Chiamaka Okafor is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.