The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has revealed the age of David Ukpo Nwamini, the young man in the middle of the organ harvesting case involving a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka.
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 Ukpo Nwamini 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 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.
Speaking with selected journalists on Sunday, Comptroller General of NIS, Isa Jere said David is 22 years old, having applied for the international passport using the service’s portal.
According to him, David’s date of birth as captured by the NIS after thorough verification is “12-10-2000. It is the same record on NPC and letter of indigeniship by Ebonyi Government submitted by the applicant.”
He said: “The attention of the Service has been drawn to the trending issue in connection with an alleged case of age falsification on a Nigerian Standard Passport issued by Nigeria Immigration Service to a Nigerian who is alleged to be at the centre of an investigation of the case of “organ harvesting”.
“The Service wishes to set the record straight by informing the general public that the suggestions that it did not properly vet the breeder documents issued by the applicant during his passport application are not only off the mark, but mere fabrications aimed at tarnishing the image of the Service.
“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr. David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November, 2021 for his interview.
“To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.
“While assuring of the Service’s commitment towards protecting the integrity of the passport, the Service wishes to cease this opportunity to appeal to the general public to desist from making such unfounded utterances as they are capable of denting the image of the Service.”
Meanwhile, 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.