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How Alliance Hospital staff confessed to kidney removal – NAPTIP investigator

An investigative officer of the National Agency for the Prosecution of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has told an FCT High Court that staff of Alliance…

An investigative officer of the National Agency for the Prosecution of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has told an FCT High Court that staff of Alliance Hospital made confessional statements in the organ harvesting case.

Liman Yusuf Shehu, who was testifying as the eighth prosecution witness in the trial of four staff members of the Alliance Hospital and Services Ltd for alleged illegal organ harvesting, disclosed this on Tuesday.

NAPTIP arraigned Dr Christopher Otabor, Emmanuel Muyiwa Olorunlaye, Chikaodili Ugochukwu and Dr Aremu Abayomi in an 11-count charge bordering on illegal organ harvesting.

Daily Trust first exposed organ trading activities in parts of Abuja and Nasarawa State after an investigation and interviews with victims.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Hassan Tahir Esq, Shehu testified that he invited and took statements from the victims, Oluwatobi Salman Salaudeen, Musa Yahaya and Aminu Yahuza, their parents and the defendants when a report was made to their office in Abuja in 2023.

He said the testimonies from the three defendants; Muyiwa Olorunlaye, Ugochukwu and Abayomi confirmed that the victims indeed had their kidneys removed at the hospital.

He added that Muyiwa Olorunlaye confessed that Ugochukwu gave him the sum of N3 million for the “donors”.

He said they further discovered that the sum of N500,000 was paid from an account belonging to Akande Lanre to a phone dealer at Nart Plaza in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, named Abdullahi Mohammed for the purchase of a phone valued at N290,000 for Oluwatobi. Mohammed transferred the balance of N210,000 to Oluwatobi.

Akande had earlier testified that his bank account was used to transfer money for the victims and he was traced and arrested in Kano.

However, defence lawyers, Afam Osigwe (SAN) and Richard Adepoju Esq, objected to the admissibility of the statements when the prosecution sought to tender them in evidence for not being obtained voluntarily, and the absence of Olorunlaye’s lawyer and other representatives as provided by Section 29(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act, 2011.

Delivering a ruling, Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya held that the evidence was relevant, adding that the use of the term “may” in the section implies that it was not mandatory that the statement must be obtained in the presence of a lawyer or others.

Under cross examination by defence counsel, Osigwe (SAN), Shehu admitted that he could not contradict the statement of Ugochukwu and Abayomi denied any links with Olorunloye by providing any bank statements or call logs to connect them.

He also admitted that he could not find anything to contradict any connection of Ugochukwu, Abayomi and Otabor to sourcing organ donors.

Meanwhile, after the end of the prosecution’s case on Tuesday, the defence indicated that they would be separately filing a no case submission within 14 days with the reply of the prosecution.

Justice Ogbonnaya then fixed July 2 for a hearing.

The court also fixed May 22 for the hearing of Dr Otabor’s application for the release of his international passport to enable him to attend to his son who is schooling overseas.

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