Ekweremadu: Alleged organ harvesting victim not minor, U.K. court rules

The Westminster Magistrate Court in the United Kingdom ruled Thursday that David Nwamini (Ukpo), the alleged organ harvesting victim in the case involving former Nigerian Senate President Ike Ekweremadu’s case, is not a minor.

The Westminster magistrate issued the order during the appearance of Mr Ekweremadu and his wife in court for the third time on Thursday.

The Ekweremadus, who first appeared in a U.K. court on June 23, were arraigned after they were arrested by Met Police on June 21.

Mr Nwamini , allegedly trafficked by the couple to harvest his kidney for their ailing daughter, told doctors he was 15.

Prosecutors, too, had in the previous court hearings, maintained that Mr Nwamini was 15 and was coerced into donating his kidney to the Ekweremadus.

The Westminster magistrate, according to BBC, while confirming that Mr Nwamini was not a minor on Thursday, also ordered that the Ekweremadus remain in the custody of the Met Police till August 4. Their bail application is to be heard at the next hearing.

BBC reports that the Nigerian senator, 60, and his wife, 55, face charges of conspiring to traffick a person for organ harvesting in violation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

David NwaminiDavid Nwamini

The platform also reports that the U.K. Attorney General, Suella Braverman, had given approval to the Westminster magistrate to hear the couple’s case.

Ms Braverman also approved the transfer of the case to the Central Criminal Court in London.

The Cable reports that Adamu Bulkachuwa, chairman of the Senate committee on foreign affairs, led a Senate delegation to the court.

David Mark, a former president of the senate; Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education, and a delegation from the Nigeria high commission, were also reported to be present in court.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the senate had sent a delegation to London to meet with the couple.

The couple had insisted that Mr Nwamini was 21, and they had filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city, to obtain an order to compel relevant authorities to release relevant records of the purported organ donor to back their claim about his age.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on Wednesday that the Nigerian court amended its earlier order ordering the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to release Mr Nwamini’s biodata information to Mr Ekweremadu.

Following an application by the NIMC, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, ruled on Wednesday that instead of releasing Mr Nwamini’s biodata information directly to the Ekweremadus as earlier ordered, it should be released to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) for onward transmission to the United Kingdom.

But it could not be ascertained by this newspaper if the information ordered by the court to be released and transmitted to the U.K. formed the basis for the Westminster magistrate’s decision declaring Mr Nwamini not to be a minor.

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.

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