The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, varied its earlier order compelling the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to release David Nwamini’s biodata information to a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, had applied for the court order to enable them to back their claim that Mr Nwamini whom they took to London, United Kingdom (U.K.), in June, to harvest his kidney for their ailing daughter, was not a minor.
But following an application by the NIMC on Wednesday, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, ruled that instead of releasing Mr Nwamini’s biodata information directly to the Ekweremadus as earlier ordered, it should be released to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) for onward transmission to the United Kingdom.
The Ekweremadus were arrested in June in the U.K., with the London Metropolitan Police insisting that Mr Nwanini was 15 years old while the couple maintained that he was 21.
Determined to establish their innocence, the Ekweremadus filed their suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order to compel NIMC and other relevant bodies to release Mr Nwamini’s biodata information for the purposes of tendering same before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court where the couple is being tried.
On Monday, the judge granted the request and ordered relevant agencies of the Nigerian government to release Mr Nwamini’s biodata information to Mr Ekweremadu and his wife.
But at Wednesday proceedings, Ekweremadus’ lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the judge that NIMC had yet to comply with the court order.
Responding, NIMC’s lawyer, Muazu Mohammed, informed the judge that the commission was reluctant to comply with the court order because it was not served with the hearing notice prior to the issuance of the order.
Mr Mohammed, who earlier asked for revocation of the order, said the law did not allow the commission to release an individual’s biodata to another individual.
He expressed fear that if the order was complied with as issued, it could expose the commission’s system to future abuse.
He added that because the applicants to whom Mr Nwamini’s biodata information was ordered to be released, such opportunities might be abused in future.
The judge, however, said the order was not made because of the status of the applicants, adding that it could have been issued to any ordinary Nigerian in need of the protection of the court under similar circumstances.
Mr Ekwo then advised the NIMC lawyer to make an appropriate application should he need another order to enable the commission to enforce the earlier order.
Mr Mohammed then urged the court to direct the agency to supply the biodata information of Nwamini to the AGF instead of handing it over directly to the Ekweremadus.
The applicants’ lawyer, Mr Awomolo, did not oppose the application.
Ruling, the judge, Mr Ekwo, ordered NIMC to supply the information of biodata of Mr Nwamini to the AGF for onward transmission to the U.K.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, the plaintiffs had asked the court to direct the NIMC to avail them the Certified True Copy of Mr Nwamini’s biodata information for the purposes of tendering same before the British Court in the pending criminal charge against them.
The suit followed the disclosure by immigration authorities in Nigeria that Mr Nwanini’s records from the National Population Commission (NPC) and NIMC gave his date of birth as October 12, 2000, as against the alleged claims by the organ donor that he is a 15-year-old.
In the court papers, Mr Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, said Mr Nwanini was flown to the UK with his consent to be a kidney donor for their daughter.
But upon a medical examination of Mr Nwamini’s kidneys, it was discovered that none was a match for the couple’s daughter, the documents stated.
The couple are being held in the UK in connection with the allegation of organ harvesting of Mr Nwamini.
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