Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, who are currently detained in the United Kingdom, have dragged the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to court over the controversy surrounding the real age of David Ukpo, who accused them of sponsoring his trip abroad for the purpose of harvesting his organ.
Cited as Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, are the Comptroller General of the NIS, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, two Nigerian banks and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.
Specifically, the plaintiffs are praying the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the Certified True Copy, CTC, of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo.
They maintained that Ukpo’s National Identification Number, NIN, with No:19438077110, which is in the possession of NIMC, should be produced for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation as well as tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to the age of the alleged victim, in the criminal charge pending against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.
Both Ekweremadu and his wife, through their lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, equally sought an order, directing the Immigration boss, to supply them with documents and application form of David Nwamini Ukpo, which was presented for the issuance of his International passport with No. BO0569974.
More so, they sought an order of court directing one of the banks to supply the applicants with the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 0032551834 maintained by its customer, Ukpo, with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish the innocence of the applicants with respect to his age in the criminal charges filed against the applicants;
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As well as an order of court directing UBA to supply the applicants with the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 2195739574 maintained by Ukpo with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish the innocence of the applicants.
The applicants raised 20 grounds they urged the court to consider before granting their request.
Ekweremadu, through his lawyer, averred that he is a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu West Senatorial District, adding that the 2nd applicant, his wife, is a chartered accountant and civil servant.
“The applicants have a daughter named Sonia Ekweremadu, who is suffering from kidney failure and the applicants have been managing it for about five years.
“The said daughter of the applicants urgently needed kidney transplant to save her life.
“David Nwamini Ukpo, offered to donate one of his kidneys for the daughter of the applicants if his kidney is compatible with that of Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.
“David Nwamini Ukpo informed the applicants that he is twenty-one (21) years of age having being born in the year 2000.
“The 1st applicant supported the visa application of David Nwamini Ukpo to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British High Commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit i.e to enable him undergo medical examination in the United Kingdom so that the donor and Sonia Ekweremadu get the best of medical attention.
“After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Nwamini Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu,” the applicants added.
They told the court that Ukpo was asked to return to Nigeria, but rather than do so, he approached the authorities in the United Kingdom for protection from being returned to Nigeria.
“David Nwamini Ukpo told the United Kingdom police that he is fifteen years of age contrary to the information supplied to the applicants by the same David Nwamini Ukpo.
“The applicants verily believe that Ukpo was actually 21 or more having regards to the public records in the custody of the respondents.
“The applicants were arrested by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom on June 21 for the allegation that they brought a 15-year-old child (a minor) to the UK to harvest his organs.
“The applicants were charged before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, United Kingdom on the 23rd of June 2022 for offences of conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.
“The court denied them bail and they are presently in the custody of UK authorities.
“The applicants require documents from the respondents to assist in the fair criminal investigation and as facts in their defence to establish their innocence of the allegation in the charge and to prove that David Nwamini Ukpo is not a minor and indeed consented to the medical examination in the United Kingdom.
“The said David Nwamini Ukpo is presently in care in the custody of British Authorities and he cannot be accessed by the applicants.
“The documents being sought to be handed over to the applicants will support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges brought against them.”
Ekweremadu’s elder brother, Bright, who deposed to the affidavit, told the court that Ukpo had informed the detained couple that he was 21 years old and expressed his willingness to held their daughter, Sonia.
Meanwhile, the matter has been assigned to Justice Inyang Ewko who has accordingly fixed it for hearing on July 1.
Motorists, commuters attack highway robbers on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with stones, cutlasses
Brave motorists and commuters on Wednesday fought with stones and cutlasses highways robbers who had come to rob them of their valuables in the early morning traffic on the Long Bridge of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Initially, there was apprehension on the bridge, inward Lagos State, opposite Mikano/Karameh City, around 5.55am when four gun-wielding men in black came, taking advantage of the traffic jam and started robbing motorists.
However, Vanguard reported that some passengers and motorists summoned courage to disrupt their operations by pelting them with stones.
Narrating his experience to Vanguard, a passenger said he was in a Mazda car that took off from Mowe, Ogun State.
According to Owokunle, seven passengers were on board the Mazda car, when the armed men were sighted in black cardigans, robbing unsuspecting road users.
He said: “The journey was very smooth from Mowe, but as we approached the Long Bridge, the driver was advised to be alert because of the perennial gridlock ahead.
“Shortly after, the driver sighted the suspects on the bridge stopping and robbing road users.
“People were scared and many drivers and passengers abandoned their vehicles and fled in different directions. “Fortunately, one of the road users shouted at the top of his voice, advising co-road users to stop running and to face the suspects.
“This was how the road users pelted the suspects with stones, while some drivers brought out cutlasses and rods to face the suspects.
“Sensing danger, the suspects descended the bridge and disappeared.”
Another road user, who simply gave his name as Gabriel, corroborated Owokunle, saying two car owners were robbed in his presence before the road users began a counter attack.
“This angered us and we faced the suspects with pebbles, cutlasses and rods,” he added.
Another road user, Aramide, said out of fear someone jumped from the bridge and this may lead to serious injuries.
“But nobody could wait to attend to him as people continued their journey after the nasty experience,” he said.
Spokesperson for Lagos State Police Command, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said that policemen had been detailed to some sensitive areas of the expressway to curtail suspicious activities.
He was reacting to an alarm by one Pastor Olaleye Gbenga of The Redeemed Christian Church, RCCG, claiming that some 20 persons were kidnapped on the Kara Bridge, along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.
Lately, many motorists and commuters have lamented being trapped in the traffic induced by the ongoing road construction on the expressway, particularly around the Otedola Bridge, Kara and Long Bridge.
Motorists and commuters, while lamenting over the situation, were heard complaining that the road had become narrow due to the construction, and had slowed down vehicular movements.
The situation, however, worsened as robbers take advantage of the traffic to rob.
Some road users told Vanguard there was urgent need for government to beef up security on the expressway.
Ritual: Pastor, accomplice to die for beheading seven-year-old
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting at Ikeja, on Tuesday, sentenced a pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi, to death for killing a seven-year-old boy in the Ikorodu area of the state.
Justice Taiwo gave the verdict after the defendants changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty.
The men were arraigned on October 30, 2017, before the Lagos State High Court on two counts bordering on conspiracy and murder.
According to the charge sheet, Oyekanmi and Adetokunbo, on June 7, 2017, on Oke Oniburokun Street, Odokekere, Ikorodu, conspired to murder a seven-year-old boy, Kazeem Rafiu.
They were said to have beheaded Rafiu and buried the head around the church’s altar, while the body was kept in a canal.
Adetokunbo was later apprehended by residents. He was said to have confessed to the crime, naming Oyekanmi as his accomplice.
The duo led a team of policemen to the church, where the victim’s remains were recovered.
After four years of being remanded in prison, the state re-arraigned the convicts before the special offences court on September 21, 2021, as the trial commenced.
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At the resumption of trial for the prosecutor to present another witness to prove the allegations against the convicts, the court was informed by the state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, and the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, that the men had decided to change their pleas.
Subsequently, the judge ordered their pleas to be taken.
The charges were read to them in Yoruba and they pleaded guilty to the two counts.
The state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, thereafter reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to convict them accordingly.
While begging for mercy, the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, told the court that the convicts had realised their offence and were remorseful for the death of the child.
In her judgement, Justice Taiwo noted that the case was a pathetic one as the defendants conspired and killed a child by cutting off his head for ritual purposes.
The judge said, “These defendants have committed a heinous crime and deserve no mercy. They have cruelly and intentionally killed a seven-year-old boy, depriving him and his family of a bright destiny.
“Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State imposes the death penalty for premeditated murder and I have no hesitation in imposing the said punishment.
“I hereby sentence Adedoyin Oyekanmi and Erinwole Adetokunbo to death for killing Kazeem Rafiu. May God have mercy on your souls.”
Fake Ekiti doctor defrauds 25 PoS operators
Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ekiti State, have arrested a 36-year-old man, Ayodeji Ademiluyi, for allegedly parading himself as a medical doctor and defrauding Point-of-Sale operators in the state capital.
The state Commandant of the agency, Mr John Fayemi, said the suspect defrauded the operators by sending fake alerts after collecting cash from them.
He said the suspect used an application on his phone, which also triggered a call from his fake hospital that a patient needed his attention.
“The PoS operator will then consider his status as a doctor and allow him to go. Later, the PoS operator will discover that he or she has been duped,” Fayemi added.
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The state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Tolulope Afolabi, in a statement, said the commandant spoke in Ado Ekiti while parading Ademiluyi and another suspected fraudster, Innocent Ekpako, 26, who was arrested in Cross River State for allegedly defrauding his boss.
The commandant, who said Ademiluyi had been perpetrating the act within the Ado Ekiti metropolis, said, “The suspect had defrauded over 25 PoS operators before men of the Counter-Terrorism Unit launched a manhunt for him with their dragnet, which paid off when he was arrested yesterday (Monday). Preliminary investigation shows that he is not a doctor but an okada rider.”
Fayemi said Ekpako, who was arrested in Ikom, Cross River State, ran away with a huge sum of money belonging to his master in Ado Ekiti.
He said, “The suspect is a former employee of a store in Ado Ekiti where he worked as a sales representative before he was sent on an errand with some money which he did not return. He disappeared into thin air until he was tracked, traced and arrested in Cross River State. The two suspects have confessed to the crime.”
The commandant cautioned PoS operators and shop owners in the state to be careful of their workers and customers as the state command had been inundated with complaints bordering on PoS fraud and stealing.
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