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Organ harvesting: Victim testifies as Ekweremadus’ trial continues

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The trial of former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, continued on Monday at the Old Bailey court in Central England, the United Kingdom.

Ekweremadu is standing trial for allegedly plotting to harvest the kidney of a 22-year-old street trader. Also being tried alongside the Nigerian lawmaker are his wife – Beatrice, 25-year-old daughter Sonia, and a doctor, Obinna Obeta.

They are accused of conspiring to exploit the man for his organ.

The four accused persons had on February 6 appeared in London’s famous Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, for the start of the trial, after previously pleading not guilty. They face life imprisonment if convicted.

In Britain, it is legal to donate a kidney, but not for reward. Prosecutors say regardless of whether the Lagos street trader gave his consent, a crime was committed by the wealthy Nigerians.

At the continuation of the trial on Monday, Channels Television’s correspondent, Juliana Olayinka who witnessed the proceedings said the victim told the court the version of his story.

READ  Ekweremadu, wife risk 10-year jail in UK

The court’s gallery was filled with people who were eager to monitor the events in the temple of justice.

Speaking through an interpreter, the victim said he arrived in the UK on February 20, 2022, to provide his kidney to Sonia Ekweremadu.

“For the first time ever, we have been hearing from a key witness which is a 22-year-old alleged victim who has been giving his own testimony via a video link. He has been speaking through an interpreter,” Olayinka said.

“Today marks the actual day, this time last year, that he arrived in London. We know what happened after that arrival if you have been following this case extensively.

“He, of course, was to come to the United Kingdom to provide his kidney for Sonia Ekweremadu who suffers from a severe significant kidney disease.”

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice were arrested by the British police on June 23 last year on allegations of human trafficking and organ harvesting that violate the country’s Modern Slavery Act.

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The Ekweremadus and the doctor are accused of conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, under UK legislation on modern slavery.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly planned to have a kidney removed from the man so that it could be given to Sonia.

 

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UPDATED: EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted over N80bn ‘financial crime’

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, wanted over alleged N80 billion financial crimes.

 

The anti-graft commission has asked anyone with useful information on Bello’s whereabouts to contact the commission or the nearest police station.

 

“The public is hereby notified that YAHAYA ADOZA BELLO (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo),” statement reads.

 

“Bello, 48-year old Ebiraman, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission in its Ibadan, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices.”

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On Wednesday, some EFCC operatives barricaded Bello’s Abuja residence.

 

Some hours after, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, arrived at Bello’s residence and was said to have left with the former governor in his vehicle.

 

But Abdulwahab Muhammed, Bello’s lawyer, said his client was in his state when the EFCC operatives besieged his residence.

Bello was absent in court earlier today when the EFCC arraigned him.

 

His arraignment came after a warrant of arrest and enrolment order was granted to the EFCC by the court on Wednesday.

 

“It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible,” EFCC said in a statement on Wednesday.

 

The federal high court in Abuja adjourned the case against Bello, Alli Bello, chief of staff to Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi; and one Daudu Suleiman, to April 23.

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DNA: Court orders substituted service on Mohbad’s wife

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A Magistrate Court sitting in the Ikorodu area of Lagos has ordered that Wunmi, the wife of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba popularly known as Mohbad, be served notice of a pending DNA test application, by substituted means.

 

A statement signed by a member of the legal team to the Aloba family, Monisola Odumosu, disclosed this on Wednesday maintaining that the order became necessary after the court sheriff attempted to serve the court process personally on Wunmi twice, but failed.

 

It will be recalled that the Aloba family is contesting the paternity of baby Liam and filed an application before the Family Court to grant an order against Wunmi to present herself and baby Liam for a DNA test at any recognised laboratory in Lagos.

 

In the application filed by the legal team to Joseph Aloba, father to the late singer, the family sought an order to serve Wunmi the court papers for the DNA, by posting all the originating processes and other processes in the suit on the last-known address of the respondent.

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Odumosu said, “If the process were served on the last-known address of the respondent by Order of the Court, it would constitute good service and she would be aware of the pending suit. The Chief Magistrate granted the order and ordered that the respondent be served by posting the court process on her last known address.

 

The statement added that the singer’s wife, in a viral video, said she was ready for a DNA test, noting that she had never been available for the court sheriff to serve her the originating motion.

 

Odumosu also added that the matter had been adjourned till next month for the report of service.

 

Counsel to Wunmi, Taiwo Olawanle, has however denied knowledge of the court order.

 

He said, “We don’t have the court order. If we have an order, we will advise her to adhere to it. That is not a problem. But we are not aware of any order”.

READ  FG hires lawyers for Ekweremadu, wife

 

Mohbad, aged 27, died on September 12, 2023, under controversial circumstances. He had left his
record label, Marlian Music owned by Naira Marley, in February 2022.

 

In September, 2023, The singer’s body was exhumed for autopsy to unravel the cause of his death.

 

The Lagos State Police Command had in the same September also inaugurated a 13-man special investigation team to probe the singer’s death.

 

His death also led to the arrest of Naira Marley and controversial Lagos socialite, Balogun Eletu, also known as Sam Larry, amongst others.

 

At the last sitting of the Coroner inquiring into the cause of his death on March 2024, the Director of the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, Dr Richard Somiari, had indicated that the results of an autopsy conducted on the deceased body would be ready in the next three to four weeks.

 

Somiari gave the assurance while testifying before the coroner, Magistrate Adedayo Shotobi.

READ  Organ trafficking: Obasanjo writes UK court, pleads for Ekweremadu

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NCos moves Bobrisky from Ikoyi to Kirkiri prison

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Embattled cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, who was sentenced to a six-month jail term for abusing the Naira, has been transferred from the Ikoyi Correctional Center to the Kirikiri Prison by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).

 

This is contrary to reports that Bobrisky is still being held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

 

According to reports, the popular cross-dresser is presently held at the Kirikiri Prison and was discreetly transferred since last weekend to Kirikiri.

 

, “It is procedural that he is moved to Kirikiri since it is an expansive prison compared to what we have here,” s dourve said.

The added that due to security reasons, Okuneye was quietly moved to the facility where he will serve his term.

 

It would be recalled that Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced the cross-dresser to six months imprisonment.

While sentencing the convict on Friday, April 12, 2024, the judge said the verdict would serve as deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

READ  Organ transplant: Ekweremadu’s daughter deserves free kidney donation– Okowa’s aide

 

Bobrisky is being identified as a male based on his admission at the court last week and according to reports that there is no realignment of gender or genital organs.

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