Return To Court For Prosecution, Reps Order Doctor, Others Facing Charges Of Organ Harvesting

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

In a significant show of support for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the ongoing case between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Alliance Hospital & Services involving Dr. Christopher Otabor, CEO of Alliance Hospital and three others over an alleged organ harvest, the House of Representative Committee on Public Petitions, has ordered the defendants to go back to Court and defend themselves.

It would be recalled that NAPTIP had arraigned the 51-year-old, Dr. Christopher Otabor, and three others before a High Court of the FCT sitting at Zuba, presided over by Hon. Justice Ogbonnaya, for alleged organ (Kidney) harvest on March 18, 2024.

Arraigned with him are Emmanuel Muyiwa Olorunlaye, male (36 years), Chikaodili Ugochukwu, Female (37 years), and Dr. Aremu Abayomi, male (43 years).

Currently on court bail the defendants have been ordered to report to NAPTIP Headquarters in Abuja daily and surrender their travel documents to the court.

Their arraignment followed months of thorough investigation during when a prima facie case was established against the defendants, implicating them in varying degrees of culpability for offences related to organ harvesting, as stipulated under section 20 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

The aggrieved Medical Doctor, Christopher Otabor had sought redress at the National Assembly, challenging his detention by the Agency during the investigative process through a petition to the House Committee on Public Petitions.

The Communication officer of NAPTIP Adekoye Vincent in a release on Sunday stated that the Committee in exercise of its legislative duties, subsequently invited the Management of NAPTIP to appear before it on Thursday 18th April, 2024.

In his brief submission, the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of NAPTIP, Mr. Hassan Tahir, according to the release, informed the Committee that the matter was sub judice as the case was already pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction and all the defendants including the petitioner had already taken their plea.

The trial is scheduled to begin on May 6th, 2024.

Ruling on the matter, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Mike Etaba, told the complainant to go back to the Court and face the charges before him ultimately dismissing the petition. 

This decision reinforces the commitment to due process and legal proceedings in addressing serious allegations such as organ harvesting. 

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