The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says Ukpo Nwamini David, the kidney donor in the trial of Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy senate president, is actually 21 years old — not 15.
The comptroller general of the Service, Isah Idris, who made this known in a Zoom briefing with journalists on Sunday, said Nwanini applied for his international passport which was issued after thorough checks by the passport issuing agency.
He said the documents provided by Mr Nwamini from the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) gave his date of birth as October 12, 2000.
He added that Nwanini was captured for the international passport on November 2, 2021, at the Gwagwalada office of the agency.
The London Metropolitan Police on Thursday charged former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and wife Beatrice Ekweremadu for allegedly trafficking Nwanini with the aim of harvesting his kidney.
On the same day, the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in London denied the couple bail.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reported that the prosecutors said the Ekweremadus were being charged for bringing a 15-year-old boy from Nigeria to the UK with the claim that he was to be given a better life in the UK but was actually to harvest his organ.
The prosecutors reportedly informed the court that Ekweremadu procured a passport for the boy and claimed he was 21 years old but the prosecutors discovered that he was 15 years old.
Pictures of Nwamini’s international passport later emerged on social media indicating his age as 21, contrary to what the prosecutors in London presented in court.
The Ekweremadus are believed to have facilitated Nwamini’s trip after he agreed to donate a kidney to their sick daughter.
However, upon arriving in the UK, the young man is believed to have told the police there that he is underage and not 21 years old as stated in his passport.
According to Idris, neither the Met Police who charged the senator to court nor the senator himself has contacted the NIS since the case went public.
Speaking further, the NIS boss explained that the organisation delayed this clarification to this time so as to enable it to get the validity of the passport issued to Nwamini from the database.
He said it was disheartening that many media houses in the country particularly the online platforms published falsehoods as regards the Nwamini’s passport to the public without verification from the right authority which is NIS.
He said NIS processed and issued a passport to Nwamini based on his documents as a Nigerian citizen with the National Identification Number (NIN), Ebonyi State of Origin letter and his Birth Certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC).
He said those were major documents required by law for NIS to issue a passport to any Nigerian citizen.
Idris said further investigations if necessary of those documents could now be directed to those agencies for verification.
The trial of the Ekweremadus continues on July 7 in the UK.