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Organ harvest: Court refuses Alliance Hospital doctor’s request to travel overseas

An FCT High Court has refused an application by the Medical Director of the Alliance Hospital and Services Ltd, Dr Christopher Otabor to travel overseas…

An FCT High Court has refused an application by the Medical Director of the Alliance Hospital and Services Ltd, Dr Christopher Otabor to travel overseas over the ongoing organ harvesting trial.

Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya on Wednesday held that granting the application would not be in the interest of justice as there was nothing placed before the court to support the request for bail variation.

Dr Otabor is among the staff of the hospital arraigned by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in an 11-count charge bordering on illegal organ harvesting.

Others are Emmanuel Muyiwa Olorunlaye, Chikaodili Ugochukwu and Dr Aremu Abayomi.

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Daily Trust first exposed organ trading activities in parts of Abuja and Nasarawa State after an investigation and interviews with victims in 2023.

Defence counsel, Afam Osigwe (SAN) had requested the court to vary the bail conditions to enable Otabor to access his international passport to visit his son, a medical student in Poland, who was said to be sick.

Opposing the application, prosecution counsel, Hassan Tahir Esq argued that apart from the document from the school, there was no medical document from a hospital explaining the nature of the purported illness of his son, adding that by the nature of the bail terms, there was no surety to guarantee his return for the trial.

In her ruling, Justice Ogbonnaya agreed with the prosecution counsel that the bail terms, which only required the defendants to submit their international passport and to attend the accelerated hearing of the case, could not be varied as there was no requirement for sureties in the initial ruling which robbed the court any discretionary powers to vary the order.

The judge noted that Otabor is key to the proceeding, adding that he failed to indicate the place, location or nature of the illness, which makes the application lack merit as the court would not act on emotions.

“Can it be said that the court stands on the side of justice if this application for variation of the bail is granted?” She asked.

The court had on Tuesday adjourned the matter to July 2, after the prosecution closed its case having called eight witnesses and tendered several documents, to enable the filing and replies to the request by defence lawyers, Afam Osigwe (SAN) and Richard Adepoju Esq to file a no-case submission to the ongoing trial.

Among the witnesses were the three victims whose kidneys were allegedly removed at the hospital sometime in 2023 including, Oluwatobi Salman Salaudeen, Musa Yahaya and Aminu Yahuza.


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