The Ekweremadus fight back on accusation of child trafficking and organ harvesting; sue agencies to obtain true age of accuser.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu and wife Nwanneka, currently incarcerated in London, face criminal charges of facilitating the travel of the youngster.
London Metropolitan Police arrested the couple and charged them with allegedly luring an unsuspecting 15 year-old to London in order to harvest his organs. A West London magistrate who heard the case last week refused them bail and clamped them in detention.
In an affidavit submitted to a court in Abuja, the Ekweremadus denied London Police claim that the youngster did not know the purpose of his trip to the UK. They also contested another claim that he is a 15 year-old.
Unable to secure the documents from the youngster who has been taken into protective custody by the authorities in London, the couple is using a lawyer in Nigeria to get certified true copies of various registration and identification documents he has in Nigeria.
Accordingly, they have sued the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and two banks to secure copies of the registration documents.
The Ekweremadus hope to use the lawsuit to establish the real age that Ukpo declared in his various official identity registrations.
These include his national identity number (NIN), his bank verification number (BVN) and his international travel passport.
Joined with NIMC and NIS are Stanbic-IBTC Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.
Adegboyega Awomolo, a senior advocate filed the suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022) yesterday 27 June in Abuja.
In the suit, Awomolo asked Federal High Court Judge Inyang Ekwo for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo.
The applicants said Ukpo’s National Identification Number (NIN): 19438077110, which is in the possession of the agency, should be produced to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the criminal charges against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.
They also requested that the Comptroller-General of Immigration be directed to supply documents and application form that Ukpo presented to obtain International passport No. BO0569974.
Awomolo further requested that Stanbic-IBTC Bank be made to supply Certified True Copy of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 0032551834 maintained by Ukpo, with Bank Verification Number 22509616391.
The same request for account opening record was made of UBA in respect of Ukpo’s account No. 2195739574 with same BVN.
Awomolo told the court that his clients needed the certified documents to respond to criminal charges for which they are being held.
Similar documents shared widely in the social media established Ukpo’s age as 21 years.
The supporting 20-paragraph affidavit supplied by the Senators brother presented the couple’s story which contradicts London police account.
The affidavit, quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) states as follows:
- Dr. Ike Ekweremadu is a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu West Senatorial District.
- Dr. Beatrice Ekweremadu is a chartered accountant, civil servant and the wife of the Senator.
- They have a daughter named Sonia Ekweremadu, who is suffering from kidney failure which they have been managing for about five years.
- The daughter urgently needed kidney transplant to save her life.
- David Nwamini Ukpo offered to donate one of his kidneys for the daughter if his kidney is compatible with that of Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.
- Ukpo informed the couple that he was 21 years old, having being born in the year 2000 and was ready to help Sonia.
- The Senator supported Ukpo’s visa application to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British High Commission in Nigeria
- He explained the purpose of the visit which was to enable Ukpo undergo medical examination in the United Kingdom so that he and Sonia Ekweremadu get the best of medical attention.
- After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu
- 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.
- Ukpo told the United Kingdom police that he is fifteen years of age contrary to the information he supplied to the couple.
- The couple verily believe that Ukpo was actually 21 or more having regards to the public records in their custody.
- The couple was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom on 21 June on allegation that they brought a 15-year-old child (a minor) to the UK to harvest his organs.
- They were charged before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, United Kingdom on the 23 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.
- Ukpo is presently in care in the custody of British Authorities and can no longer be reached by couple to supply the documents.
- The documents requested from the court are to support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges brought against them.
The lawyer said getting the official documents and tendering them to the London Court will serve the interest of justice.