Sunday, August 7, 2022

Court orders NIMC to release Ekweremadus’ alleged victim’s biodata

The Ekweremadus’ case is expected to continue in the UK on July 7. Their alleged victim was identified as a homeless 15-year-old from Lagos.

• July 6, 2022
The Ekweremadus' and NIMC used to illustrate the story
The Ekweremadus’ and NIMC used to illustrate the story

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to supply the attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, with the certified true copy of biodata information of ex-Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu’s alleged victim.

The biodata information is expected to be given to the UK authorities.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order following an omnibus application made by Muazu Mohammed, NIMC’s counsel, to the effect.

The suit also mentioned the comptroller general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as second to fifth respondents.

Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice Ekweremadu, had, in the application dated and filed on June 27 by their lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, sued NIMC and others.

In the originating summons, the couple prayed the court for an order directing all the defendants to provide them the CTC of David Ukpo’s biodata in their care to establish their innocence concerning Mr Ukpo’s age.

Mr Ekwo, on Friday, granted the couple’s prayers by directing all the defendants to release the CTC of the victim’s biodata to the Ekweremadus.

But when the matter came up today, Mr Awomolo told the court that NIMC had yet to comply with the court order.

Responding, NIMC’s counsel said although the commission had reached 90 per cent compliance with the order, there was a constraint to releasing the biodata to the applicants because of the act which set up the agency.

The judge, however, said the order was not made because the applicants were high-placed.

Mr Mohammed, therefore, made an omnibus prayer, urging the court to direct the agency to supply the biodata information of the alleged human trafficking victim to the AGF.

Mr Awomolo did not oppose the application.

In his ruling, the judge ordered NIMC to supply the biodata information of the victim’s national identification number in its care to the AGF for onward transmission to the UK.

UK authorities had arrested Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, alleging that they trafficked the victim to harvest his organ for their ailing child, Sonia, allegedly suffering from kidney failure.

The couple appeared before a magistrate on Thursday afternoon and was denied bail. The Ekweremadus’ case is expected to continue in the UK on July 7. Their alleged victim was identified as a homeless 15-year-old from Lagos.


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