The Nigerian Immigration Service(NIS) has clarified the man at the centre of the alleged transplant saga involving former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, Nwamini David Ukpo, is actually 21 and not 15 as alleged in many media reports.
The Comptroller General of NIS, Isa Jere, stated this in an engagement with editors.
Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested by The Metropolitan Police at the Heathrow Airports for alleged human trafficking and organ harvesting on Tuesday.
They were arraigned on Thursday before Uxbridge Magistrates Court, which ordered their remand in police custody until July 7.
Many media reports had alleged Ukpo is 15 and not 21 as stated in a purported covering letter to the British Embassy by Ekweremadu.
But Jere said Ukpo’s date of birth as captured by the NIS after thorough verification is “12-10-2000. It is the same record on NPC and letter of indigeniship by Ebonyi Government submitted by the applicant.”
He said: “The attention of the Service has been drawn to the trending issue in connection with an alleged case of age falsification on a Nigerian Standard Passport issued by Nigeria Immigration Service to a Nigerian who is alleged to be at the centre of an investigation of the case of “organ harvesting”.
“The Service wishes to set the record straight by informing the general public that the suggestions that it did not properly vet the breeder documents issued by the applicant during his passport application are not only off the mark, but mere fabrications aimed at tarnishing the image of the Service.
“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr. David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November, 2021 for his interview. To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.
“While assuring of the Service’s commitment towards protecting the integrity of the passport, the Service wishes to cease this opportunity to appeal to the general public to desist from making such unfounded utterances as they are capable of denting the image of the Service.”
Culled from The Nation