Ekweremadu: Court Orders NIMC to Release Organ Donor’s Bio-data to AGF
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday ordered the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to release a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo, to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for onward submission to the government of the United Kingdom.
The new order was made following NIMC’s refusal to release the said document to lawyers of Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, who are currently held in the UK over alleged trafficking of a minor for the purpose of organ harvesting.
The court had on July 1, ordered NIMC as well as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Stanbic IBTC to release a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of Ukpo, to Ekweremadu to enable them defend themselves in the alleged modern slavery and organ harvesting charge leveled against them at a United Kingdom Magistrate Court.
But rather than comply with the order of the court, NIMC through its lawyer, Muazu Mohammed had approached the court with an application seeking to set aside the court’s order on the grounds that its laws forbid it from releasing details of persons in its custody to an individual.
NIMC however, noted that such documents could be handed over to the AGF who would then submitted to its counterpart in the UK.
Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, did not object to the release of the document to the AGF and the judge subsequently made an order directing NIMC to release the bio-data information of Ukpo to the AGF.
The Metropolitan Police had two weeks ago, arrested Ekweremadu and his wife, for allegedly trafficking a minor to the UK for exploitation and organ harvesting, an offence punishable by prison terms in the UK.
The Senator and his wife had denied any wrong doing, claiming that contrary to the position of the UK Police, the said donor, is not a minor and was neither tricked or induced to donate his organ for the ailing daughter of the Ekweremadus who is currently in a London hospital.
Ekweremadu and his wife accordingly approached a Federal High Court for an order compelling NIMC, Nigeria Immigration Service, UBA, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc to release a Certified True Copy of the bio-data information of Ukpo to the defendants to aid their defense in the London Court.
In an originating summon marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, dated and filed June 27 by their counsel, Awomolo, the couple said the information were for the purposes of facilitating the criminal investigation and tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the charges against them.
Awomolo, had told the court that the respondents would not respond to their request on the bio-data of Ukpo unless directed by the court.