The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has countered claims that it is probing the authenticity of the passport obtained by alleged minor, Nwamini David, who was allegedly trafficked to the United Kingdom by a former senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice for organ harvest.
The service, in a statement by its public relations officer and assistant comptroller- general of immigration, Amos Okpu , argued that , due process was followed in the procurement of the said travel document.
According to the statement, “The said documents were issued by competent offices and the necessary verifications were made to confirm their validity and correctness. Consequent upon this therefore, the said passport was issued to him having satisfied the basic requirements. “
The statement reads in part,” Mr David approached the application portal of the Service, applied and paid for the enhanced ePassport at the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja on the 2nd November, 2021. All the necessary documents including National Identity Number (NIN) issued by NIMC, letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office, situated on Mississippi Maitama District Abuja, Birth Certificate issued by the National Population Commission and other relevant documents to support the application of Mr. David were presented for processing.”
Okpu who argued that they had no reason whatsoever to initiate any probe, wondered about the validity of the claims that due process was not observed in the issuance of the passport to Mr David Ukpo Nwamini.
He boasted that , “The Nigeria is one of the first four countries in the world to deploy modern technological tools to run the electronic Passport platform as far back as 2007. Ever since then, significant improvements have been recorded including migration to the enhanced ePassport regime recently, a technology that has added some additional security features and options of Passport categories to applicants.”
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the comptroller-general of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris, has been drawn to some reports alleging that the issuance of a Nigerian Standard Passport to one Mr. David Ukpo Nwamini who has been mentioned in an ongoing investigation by the UK authorities on human trafficking case did not follow due process.
“Some aspects of the reports are suggesting that due diligence was not observed in the issuance of the said document to Mr. David. The comptroller- general therefore, wishes to use this medium to state categorically that all Passport applications especially fresh ones are usually subjected to stringent screening exercises before issuance. Mr. David’s application was not an exception. This is done not only to ensure that our Passports are issued to eligible persons but that the process is transparent enough to sustain the system.”
Ekweremadu, the senator representing Enugu West senatorial district, was arrested by the UK Metropolitan Police on Tuesday with his wife, for conspiracy to harvest the organs of a minor.
Ekweremadu and his wife allegedly facilitated David’s entry into the UK to transplant his kidney into their daughter, Sonia, who is suffering from kidney failure.
The prosecutor claimed that David is a 15-year-old boy, and that he was not aware that he was in the UK to donate a kidney until he went for a hospital appointment with the Ekweremadus.
A trending picture of David’s passport, however, indicated that he was born on October 12, 2000. This means he is 21 years old.
LEADERSHIP however gathered that the said passport with number B00569974 was issued in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on November 5, 2021 and would expire on November 4, 2026.