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Kidney Saga: Ekweremadu Wins First Round

A UK court has ruled that Nigerian born Mr. David Ukpo, whom former Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said had willingly agreed to be his daughter’s kidney donor is 21 years old.

During the 20-minute hearing on Thurdsay morning, the Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom ruled that going forward, Mr. Ukpo should be regarded as an adult and not a minor.

Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice are accused of conspiring to bring a person who is a minor to the UK for organ donation. The judge has accepted that the complainant is not a child as previously reported and Deputy Senior District Judge, Tan Ikram sent the case to the Old Bailey to be heard on August 4 but the couple would remain in custody.

The lawmaker and his wife arrived in the courtroom two hours after the proceeding was scheduled to commence. The court public gallery was packed with representatives from the Nigeria including chairman of the senate committee on foreign affairs, Adamu Bulkachuwa, former Senate President, David Mark, former minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, a delegation from the Nigerian High Commission, family members and friends. The police became aware of the case on 5th May when the complainant arrived at a police station.

Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested by the UK police on June 23 on allegations of human trafficking and organ harvesting which the prosecutors say violate the country’s Modern Slavery Act.

At the arrest, the police authorities alleged that Ekwerenmadu conspired to bring a child to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting after it was revealed that the alleged victim, gave his age as 15.

On June 27, Ekwerenmadu’s lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, urged Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the release of certain official documents of Ukpo domiciled with NIMC, Nigerian Immigration Service, and Stanbic-IBTC Bank for the purpose of effectively defending Ekweremadu in the UK.

Last Wednesday however, the FHC ordered the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to transmit the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of Mr. Ukpo to the Attorney General of the Federation to be sent to the UK to aid Ekweremadu’s trial.

Daily Sun had earlier reported that Ekweremadu and his wife who have four kids and a house in Willesden, North London, travelled to London from Nigeria with Mr. Ukpo whom it was initially allegedly was found on the streets, with the hope of harvesting his kidney to be used by his ill daughter.

The prosecution alleged that while the boy was in the custody of the couple, he was not treated well, which made him escape from their home, slept on the streets in London for two days and found his way to a police station. The police commenced investigation into the case which eventually led to arrest Ekweremadu and the 20,000 pounds which was found on the lawmaker was confiscated by the UK authority. 

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