Why I tried to get kidney donor outside my family – Ekweremadu
Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy President of the Senate, has told a court in London that he was advised by his doctor against seeking a kidney donor from among his family members.
Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, are currently facing charges in the United Kingdom after they allegedly lured a young man from Nigeria to harvest his organ for their ailing daughter, Sonia, who is also standing trial.
The lawmaker was last year arrested and had been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.
According to Daily Mail, the young man, a trader from Lagos, was to be rewarded for donating a kidney to Sonia in an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The Ekweremadus, however, decided to turn their interest to Turkey in search of the needed organ after the 21-year-old was rejected as unsuitable.
While cross-examining the lawmaker, Prosecutor Hugh Davies KC said, “On the question of whether a family member could, in principle, act as a donor, you decided that was not possible based on a reported conversation between your non-nephrologist brother and Dr Obeta, a non-nephrologist?”
In response, Ekweremadu said, “He would have had basic knowledge. I’m not a doctor, so if he says so, I believe him.”
But Davies said, “All you had to do, rather than rely on a second-hand account from non-nephrologists, was to ask one of the specialists you were consulting whether a family member could donate a kidney.”
Ekweremadu, however, suggested he had “limited intelligence,” a claim that was rejected by the prosecutor, who said, “It is incredible. You do not lack intelligence.”
Davies continued, “The fact is you did not even try to ask Sonia’s cousins, for example, to consider acting as a donor.
“What you are saying is you had no intention of anyone in your family – immediate or extended – stepping up to donate a kidney to Sonia.
“Far better to buy one and let the medical risk go to someone you don’t know.”
Responding, Ekweremadu said it was “not true” that he agreed to get a donor by going through agents for the task.
Davies responded, “The pattern of communication reflects none of the type of human communication and contact you would expect if you and your family had believed that (the proposed donor) was a good Samaritan.”
Ekweremadu repeated, “Not true.”
Davies asserted, “The transplant with (the donor), not having gone ahead, you and your family then immediately sought to recruit further donors for reward, transferring jurisdiction out of the UK to Turkey.
“That failed too because even that donor had not been trained properly to give the false answers when interviewed.”
The defendant dismissed the prosecutor’s claims, saying, “These are not the facts.”
Davies continued, “You did not move away from the Royal Free clinical team because they lacked expertise.
“When another donor was required you immediately sought to transfer the clinical process to Turkey.”
On why the Ekweremadus had been prepared to leave an “internationally recognised centre of excellence” in London for an unknown quantity in Turkey, the lawmaker replied Davies, saying treatment in Turkey was “cheaper”.
Mr Davies responded, “You were looking to cut corners on your daughter’s clinical outcome to save money? You were a wealthy man, senator.”
According to Daily Mail, the defendant, who owns dozens of properties in Nigeria and Dubai, and sent his children to be privately educated, denied being a wealthy man.
Davies said, “That’s not true. Think of the number of properties you own.”
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu remains in custody while the trial of his family and a medical “middleman”, Dr Obinna Obeta, at the Old Bailey continues.
Troops repel terrorists’ attempt to attack INEC collation centre in Borno. neutralize 60
Hours after Governor Babagana Zulum cast his vote at the Ajari Ward polling unit 001 in Mafa Local government, over 60 terrorists suspected to belong to the ISWAP faction, attempted to infiltrate army base serving as collation center for the March 18 Governorship and State Assembly elections by troops of the Nigerian army, but they met their waterloo.
Available reports from military sources have it that the terrorists stormed Mafa town in gun trucks and motorcycles around 2:00am and headed towards the military base where Collation of votes for the local government was ongoing.
Troops of Operation Hadin Kai annihilated the terrorists following an aggressively executed counter-attack operation which was supported by air taskforce fighter jets dispatched to the scene which bombarded the fleeing terrorists, killing a huge number while few who managed to flee, left with fatal wounds.
A source confirmed that the bodies of 60 terrorists recovered were ridden with bullets. A Hilux vehicle, several weapons and ammunitions were also recovered from the fleeing terrorists.
NDLEA intercepts heroin consignment at Lagos Airport, seizes 1.2m pills of Tramadol
No fewer than One Million Two Hundred and Five Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty (1, 205, 260) pills of opioids were seized in two interdiction operations in Kogi and Gombe state by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, just as anti-narcotic officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operates between Nigeria, East Africa, and Europe, with the arrest of two members of the cartel.
Operatives at the Lagos airport had on Monday 13th March intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Vitus Ifeanyi, during screening of inward passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.
When a search was conducted on him, it was discovered that one of his two bags has a false bottom concealment. During preliminary interview of the suspect, he confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport carpark to pick him. An immediate follow up operation led to the arrest of Chukwu Franco Bright, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.
After his arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of 3.00 kilograms of heroin. Findings reveal that the drug syndicate networks between Nigeria, and Malawi, Mozambique in East Africa and Europe. While Chukwu who lives in Lagos is responsible for the recruitment and coordination of the activities of mules on behalf of other members of the cartel based in Mozambique and Malawi, another set operates from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA on Wednesday 15th March intercepted a jerrycan of palm oil going to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the point of examination, it was discovered that 600 grams of cannabis sativa were concealed inside the jerrycan of palm oil. A suspect, Tunde Ogunbowale who presented the consignment for export to Dubai was immediately arrested.
This is even as attempt to export 2.7kg cannabis packaged as part of dried onions to Dubai through a postal service firm was frustrated by NDLEA officers attached to the courier company, who seized a carton filled with colourful sachets of dried onions, used to conceal the illicit consignment.
In Kogi state, a total of 530,160 pills of tramadol and 99,000 tabs of diazepam were seized along Okene-Abuja highway from a bus driver, Suleiman Oyedokun, 41, coming from Onitsha, Anambra state and going to Kontagora in Niger State on Monday 13th March. Same day, 576, 100 pills of tramadol concealed in bags of rubber slippers were intercepted by NDLEA officers at trailer garage, old mile 3 road area of Gombe metropolis, Akko LGA, Gombe State.
Four suspects: Usman Suleiman; Ya’u Yusuf; Saidu Suleiman and Abubakar Umar have so far been arrested in connection with the seizure.
In Kaduna, 367 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered from a vehicle with registration number FKJ141DX. Two suspects: Monday Suleiman, 62, and Sama’ila Mohammed, 30 were arrested while a bribe of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,200,000) offered NDLEA officers were documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects.
Operatives in Delta state also on Wednesday 15th March arrested a local female distiller of cannabis sativa and dry gin, Ebi Akpotudua, 52, to produce a cocktail drink popularly known as monkey tail. She was arrested at Ugboroke by river road, Warri with 19.5 litres of monkey tail and 22.2kg cannabis.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officers of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of MMIA, DOGI, Kogi, Gombe, Kaduna, and Delta Commands for their professionalism and staying focused.
He charged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels.
Jobless man steals church chairs, water, remanded in prison
An Upper Area Court in Karu, Abuja, on Friday, remanded a job applicant, Shedrach Johnson, who pleaded guilty to stealing 100 pieces of plastic chairs.
The police charged Johnson with criminal trespass and theft.
The judge, Malam Hassan Mohammed, deferred the sentence and adjourned the case until March 24 for sentence.
Mohammed ordered that the convict be remanded in the Keffi Custodial Centre.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mr Olarewaju Osho, told the court that the matter was reported by one Pastor Uche Eke of Gidan Daya, Orozo, Abuja.
Osho told the court that the convict criminally trespassed into the complainant’s church and stole 100 plastic chairs and three bottled water.
He said the convict was arrested with the help of security men on duty and three plastic chairs were recovered from him and a pack of bottled water.
Johnson pleaded guilty but begged for leniency.
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