Ekweremadu: Court fixes date to rule in David Ukpo’s application amid alleged organ harvesting


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, fixed December 5 for ruling on an application filed by David Ukpo, the kidney donor, seeking the court to set aside its orders made on July 1 and July 6 which gave Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and wife, Beatrice, access to his biodata.


Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after counsel for parties in the suit adopted their processes and presented their arguments.


NAN reports that Ukpo, through his lawyer, Bamidele Igbinedion, had filed a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/202, urging the court to set aside the orders, directing some agencies of government and banks to release his biodata to Ekweremadu and his wife.


Ukpo, who joined the Ekweremadus as applicants/respondents in the motion, also listed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) (1st respondent) and four others in the application.


Others mentioned in the motion are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); United Bank of Africa (UBA), Stanbic-IBTC Bank; and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as 2nd to 5th respondents respectively, but the 5th respondent was later dropped form the charge.


Ukpo, who is presently in the United Kingdom in connection with the alleged organ harvesting charge against the Ekweremadus, had said that granting the couple’s request violated his fundamental rights to privacy guaranteed by Section 37 of 1999 Constitution (as amended).


But in a counter affidavit deposed to by Bright Ekweremadu, the immediate younger brother to the former deputy senate President, the applicants revealed that Ukpo wasn’t entitled to the reliefs sought as the law doesn’t permit such.


The counter affidavit was dated and filed on September 8 by their counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN.


In a 20-point argument, Bright averred that though the court gave its ruling on July 1, Ukpo’s right to fair hearing wasn’t breached.


According to him, the documents which were released by the agencies and banks upon the orders of the court had been transmitted to the United Kingdom and had been “tendered at the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, and at the Central Criminal Court in the United Kingdom and have subsequently formed part of the record of the courts.”


At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Eyitayo Falogun, SAN, who appeared for the Ekweremadus, adopted his applications and urged the court to dismiss Ukpo’s request.


He said he was aware that a coalition of civil society organisations under the auspices of the Edo Civil Society Organisation (EDOSCO), initiated the motion on Ukpo’s behalf.


Falogun, who called the attention of the court to Upko’s motion, described EDOSCO as “a meddlesome interloper.”


Muazu Dikwa, lawyer to NIMC, argued that the orders made by court on July 1 and July 6 were in line with Section 2.11 of the National Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.


According to him, the regulation says that every transmission of data to a foreign land shall be done under the supervision of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).


He, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss Ukpo’s application.


The lawyer prayed the court to give the reliefs sought and reverse the orders.


Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until December 5 for ruling.

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