Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka, have approached the Federal High Court in Abuja over the controversy surrounding the real age of David Ukpo Nwamini, who accused them of sponsoring his trip to the United Kingdom for the purpose of harvesting his organ.
David Ukpo Nwamini
KanyiDaily recalls that on June 23, the Nigerian couple were arrested by the UK metropolitan police in London for allegedly trafficking a homeless boy from Lagos into the UK to harvest his organs for their ailing daughter.
The duo, who were arrested for alleged conspiracy to harvest the kidney of 15-year-old David, are both charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
On Thursday, the court heard how Ekweremadu and Beatrice trafficked the 15-year-old boy from Lagos into the UK with the passport of a 41-year-old man, to transplant his organs to their daughter who suffers from kidney failure.
The couple were arrested at Heathrow while trying to board a flight to Turkey – where it was suggested that the procedure could take place – the court heard.
Although the police had said the donor’s age was 15, data from his international passport and Bank Verification Number (BVN) indicate that David is 21-year-old, having been born on October 12, 2000.
The Ekweremadus have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and others to supply them with the certified true copy (CTC) of Ukpo’s biodata.
This was contained in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022 and filed on June 27 by Adegboyega Awomolo, counsel to the senator and his wife, before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
Named with NIMC as respondents in the suit are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank; United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.
They stated among the grounds, that the information/documents required from the respondents are needed for their defence in the case against them in a United Kingdom court.
They stated that Ukpo’s National Identification Number (NIN):19438077110, which is in the possession of the agency, should be produced for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation and tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the criminal charges against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.
The couple equally want the court to order the NIS C-G to supply the documents and application form of Ukpo in the possession of the 2nd respondent presented for the issuance of International passport No. BO0569974 for the purpose of assisting criminal investigation and tendering same before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, UK until July 7 in the alleged criminal charge brought against the applicants.
They seek an order of court directing the Stanbic-IBTC Bank to make available the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 0032551834 maintained by its customer, Ukpo, with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish the innocence of the applicants with respect to his age in the criminal charges filed against the applicants.
Ekweremadu and his wife want the court to direct the UBA to supply them with the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 2195739574 maintained by Ukpo with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish their innocence.
They stated, in court documents, that they “have a daughter named Sonia Ekweremadu, who is suffering from kidney failure and the applicants have been managing it for about five years.
“The said daughter of the applicants urgently needed kidney transplant to save her life.
“David Nwamini Ukpo, offered to donate one of his kidneys for the daughter of the applicants if his kidney is compatible with that of Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.
“David Nwamini Ukpo informed the applicants that he is Twenty One (21) years of age having being born In the year 2000.
“The 1st applicant supported the visa application of David Nwamini Ukpo to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British High Commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit i.e to enable him undergo medical examination in the United Kingdom so that the donor and Sonia Ekweremadu get the best of medical attention.
“After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Nwamini Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu.”
They added Ukpo was then asked to return to Nigeria but rather than do so, he approached the authorities in the United Kingdom for protection from being returned to Nigeria.
The applicants further stated that “David Nwamini Ukpo told the United Kingdom police that he is fifteen years of age contrary to the information supplied to the applicants by the same David Nwamini Ukpo.
“The applicants verily believe that Ukpo was actually 21 or more having regards to the public records in the custody of the respondents.
“The applicants were arrested by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom on June 21 for the allegation that they brought a 15-year-old child (a minor) to the UK to harvest his organs.
“The applicants were charged before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, United Kingdom on the 23rd of June 2022 for offences of conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
‘”The court denied them bail and they are presently in the custody of UK authorities.
“The applicants require documents from the respondents to assist in the fair criminal investigation and as facts In their defence to establish their innocence of the allegation In the charge and to prove that David Nwamini Ukpo is not a minor and Indeed consented to the medical examination in the United Kingdom.
“The said David Nwamini Ukpo is presently in care in the custody of British Authorities and he cannot be accessed by the applicants.
“The documents being sought to be handed over to the applicants will support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges brought against them.”
The case before Justice Inyang Ekwo, has been scheduled for July 1 for hearing.
KanyiDaily recalls that the UK court had denied Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka bail and remanded them in custody until next month over the ‘organ harvesting’ allegation.