‘Organ harvesting’: Scanty evidence mars NAPTIP submissions as Judge adjourns case

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has closed its case case against Alliance Hospital before Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya of the FCT high court sitting in Abuja.

The decision followed its senior investigator (Witness) failure to establish beyond reasonable doubt documented evidence of financial transaction between the donors and the hospital. 

Defendants in the charge marked FCT/HC/193/24 are Emmanuel Muyiwa Olorunlaye, Chikaodili Ugochukwu, Dr Christopher Otabor, Dr  Aremu Abayomi, and Alliance hospital. 

Alliance Hospital apply to the  High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Zuba, that it will, pursuant to Section 302 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, file  a no-case-submission in the suit between it and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Counsel to the hospital, Mazi Afam Osuigwe (SAN) stated this after the NAPTIP lawyer, Hassan Tahir, had closed the prosecution’s case against the defendants after calling 8 witnesses.

Also, counsel to the 1st defendant informed the court of his intention to file a no-case-submission in respect of the allegation levelled against his client, Emmanuel Olorunlaye.

The prosecution lawyer did not raise any objection on the application.

Meanwhile as the proceedings was ongoing, Justice Ogbonnaya granted 14 days to counsel to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants to file his no-case-submission, which runs concurrently with that of the 1st defendant.

The court also gave the prosecution counsel, 14 days to file reply, just as the defence counsel was given 

7 days to reply on points of law.

The court will on Wednesday, hear a motion by the 3rd defendant seeking leave of court to travel abroad.

Earlier in the proceeding, the prosecution counsel called two witnesses, Akande Lanre (PW7) and Liman Shehu (PW8), who narrated to the court all they knew about the alleged kidney transplant. 

Shehu, a Principal Intelligent Officer with NAPTIP, who was led in evidence by  the prosecution counsel, said he investigated the matter and that he knew all the defendants. 

Upon cross examination by  Osuigwe, the witness, Shehu (pw8) admitted that the kidney donors, Oluwatobi Saluiman (pw1), Yahaya Musa (pw2), and  Aminu Yahuza (pw5), were not approached by the 2nd defendant, Chikaodili to buy their kidney. 

Shehu also admitted that the 2nd to 5th defendants did not give the pw1, pw2 and pw3 money for sale of their kidneys.

The PW8 also confirmed to the court that he collected Chikaodili’s phone, analysed it, and didn’t see any form of communication between her and the 1st defendant (Muyiwa) in respect of kidney.

“Did the analysis of the 2nd defendant’s phone show communucation between her and pw1 for kidney, Osigwe asked Shehu.

“I can’t remember seeing any such thing,” the pw8 answered.

Shehu also confirmed that in there statements, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defs stated that they don’t involve in sourcing for donor for recipients.

Shehu also confirmed to the court that from the statements, Dr Otabor and Chikaodili have been consistent. 

More so, the pw8 told the court that he didn’t establish any form of communication between the phone numbers of Muyiwa and Chikaodili in respect of any kidney transaction. 

“We didn’t check there bank accounts to establish any transaction. We only investigated human trafficking allegation and not financial transaction, the PW 8 told the court. 

On whether Oluwatobi, the 1st defendant gave an affidavit where he deposed to the fact that he was 18 years.

“I didn’t remember that but I know the hospital gave me  documents on the medical records of the pw1.”

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned for futher hearing.

“I requested for the medical records of pw1 and it was given to me, but I can’t recall if an affidavit sworn at a High Court of the FCT was there,” the pw8 stated.