Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), the lawyer for former Senate Deputy Speaker, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday that David Ukpo had offered to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter, Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.
The lawyer added that Ukpo was not 15 as claimed and that he allegedly told his client he was 21. He added that Ukpo also allegedly told British authorities that he was 15 and did not want to return to Nigeria, after being asked to do so.
Ekweremadu and his wife, on June 23, were taken into police custody in the UK after being arraigned at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on charges of alleged conspiracy to facilitate travel by alleged minor Ukpo for swab of organs.
Awomolo, for requesting the publication of the certified copy of Ukpo’s biographical data by the National Identity Management Commission, on behalf of his clients, requested the court to grant the request in order to expedite the investigation that would prove the innocence of the Ekweremadus.
He said: “The applicants have a daughter named Sonia Ekweremadu, who suffers from kidney failure and the applicants have been caring for her for about five years.
“The said applicants’ daughter was in urgent need of a kidney transplant to save her life.
“David Ukpo has offered to donate one of his kidneys to the Claimants’ daughter if his kidney is compatible with that of Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.
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“David Ukpo informed the applicants that he was 21 years old and was born in the year 2000.
“The first applicant supported Ukpo’s visa application in the UK with a letter to the British High Commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit, to enable him to undergo a medical examination in the UK so that the donor and Sonia Ekweremadu get the best of medical care.
“After carrying out various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Ukpo was not a suitable donor as his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu.
“Ukpo told British police that he was 15 years old contrary to the information provided to the applicants by the same Ukpo.
“The Plaintiffs truly believe that Ukpo was in fact 21 years of age or older in view of the public records in the custody of the Respondents.
“The claimants were arrested by the UK Metropolitan Police on June 21 for the allegation that they brought a 15-year-old child to the UK for the removal of his organs.
“The applicants were charged at Uxbridge Magistrate Court, United Kingdom, on 23 June 2022, with the offenses of conspiracy to facilitate the travel of another person for the purpose of exploitation, namely the taking of organs.
“The court refused them bail and they are currently in the custody of the British authorities.
“The Petitioners require documents from the Respondents to assist them in the fair criminal investigation and as facts in their defense to establish their innocence of the allegation in the prosecution and to prove that Ukpo is not a minor and has in fact consented medical examination in the UK.
“The said Ukpo is currently in the custody of UK authorities and is not accessible to applicants.
“The documents sought to be provided to the applicants will support the applicants in their defense and establish their innocence of the charges against them.”
The court granted the request for disclosure of Ukpo’s details by the NIMC and the Nigerian Immigration Service.