The Nigeria Immigration Service has stated that it followed due process in issuing a Nigerian passport to Mr David Nwamini, who was allegedly trafficked to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Nwamini had allegedly claimed to be a minor after he arrived in the UK where he was to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter.
However, photos of his Nigerian passport, as circulated on social media, showed his date of birth to be October 12, 2000, placing him at 21 years old.
Addressing the controversy surrounding his age, the Comptroller General of the NIS, Mr Idris Jere, at a press conference on Sunday, said Nwamini is indeed 21 according to his record in the possession of the NIS, discarding claims that the Service didn’t thoroughly vet the documents provided by the applicant.
Jere 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; his National Identification Number, issued by NIMC corroborating the date of birth; a Certificate of Origin issued by 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.”
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Mr Seriake Dickson, has told Nigerians not to hastily pass judgement against Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.
Dickson said this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, ‘The Ekweremadu I know will not traffic an underage boy for organ harvesting.’
Dickson said, “I am sure from the beginning when this story broke that the Ekweremadu I know could not have taken an underage and under-privileged young man, smuggle him out to harvest organs for whatever purpose.
“The circumstances surrounding this will fully come to light in the cause of investigation.
Also reacting, the Ebonyi State Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, in Abakaliki, on Sunday urged the UK authorities to exercise caution on the investigation of circumstances leading to the arrest and eventual trial of the senator and his wife.
The statement read, “Ebonyi State Government is following up the turn of events and twists that followed the medical intention of the former Deputy Senate President’s family.
“While we urge the UK Government to act progressively and meticulously and critically look at the intention (Mens rea) and the minds of the detained family and 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 is reaching out to the family of David Okemini Ukpo from Ebonyi State, whose information to the Metropolitan Authority of UK orchestrated the criminal charge against the senator and his wife. 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.”