NIGERIA Immigration Service (NIS) officials have released additional information about the David Nwamini the purported organ donor at the centre of the controversy involving former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu showing that he is no minor but 21 years old.
Last week, Senator Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice were arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police on suspicion of child trafficking and planned organ harvesting. They were charged before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
Both of them were denied bail and have been remanded in custody until July 7 when the case will next be heard. Media reports have suggested that they were trying to get a minor to donate a kidney to their daughter for an operation that was due to take place at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
However, according to information just released by the NIS, Mr Nwamini, who is at the centre of the saga was issued a passport legally, following due process. Mr Nwamini had allegedly claimed to be a minor after he arrived in the UK but photographs of his Nigerian passport showed his date of birth to be October 12, 2000, making him 21 years old.
Idris Jere, the NIS comptroller-general, said “The fact of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that Mr David Ukpo Nwamini applied and paid for the e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the passport office in Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja, on November 2, 2021 for his interview. To support his application, Mr Nwamini presented all necessary documents required including his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission, showing October 12, 2000 as his date of birth.
“He also submitted his National Identification Number, issued by the Nigeria Identity Management Commission corroborating the date of birth, a certificate of origin issued by the Ebonyi State Government Liaison office in Abuja and a guarantor’s form duly signed. NIS relies on documentation supplied by other agencies and we are not under any obligation to go to those agencies to verify those documents.
“What we do is that we look at the documents and applicants physically. Once that is done, we go ahead to process.”
Also reacting, the Ebonyi State government, urged the UK authorities to exercise caution in investigating the circumstances leading to the arrest and eventual trial of the senator and his wife. Uchenna Orji, the Ebonyi State information commissioner, said: “While we urge the UK government to act progressively and meticulously and critically look at the intention and the minds of the detained family, please give them the benefit of the doubt.
“We enjoin the public especially those with shades of opinions and surge of anxieties to remain calm as we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel. The state government stands with Senator Ike Ekweremadu at this trial moment and hopes that the truth and nothing but the truth shall guide the outcome of the matter.”