Alleged Organ Harvesting: Go Back To Court – Reps Directs Alliance Hospital, Others


BY NGOZI NWANKWO ABUJA – The House of Representative Committee on Public Petitions, has directed Alliance Hospital & Services and its Managing Director, Dr. Christopher Otabor and three others standing trial over an alleged organ harvest, to go back to the Court and defend themselves than seek justice from the National Assembly.

The position of the House of Representatives showed a significant 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 and three others as defendants.

The Alliance Hospital Managing Director, Dr Christopher Otabor had sought redress at the National Assembly challenging his detention by NAPTIP during the investigative process through a petition to the House Committee on Public Petitions.

The Committee in exercise of its legislative duties, invited the management of NAPTIP to appear before it on Thursday, April 18, 2024 during which the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of NAPTIP, Mr. Hassan Tahir, informed the Committee that the matter was sub-judiced as the case was already pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction.

Tahir told members of the Committee that all the defendants including the petitioner had already taken their plea while trial was scheduled to begin on May 6, 2024.

Taking a decision on the matter, the Chairman of the House Committee, Hon Mike Etaba, directed complainant to go back to the Court and face the charges before him.

NAPTIP in a statement in Abuja by Mr Vincent Adekoye, Communication Officer, stated that the 51-year-old, Dr. Christopher Otabor, and three others were arraigned before a High Court of the FCT sitting at Zuba, for alleged organ (Kidney) harvesting on March 18, 2024.

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

The defendants who are currently on bail granted by the court presided over by Justice Ogbonnaya, were ordered to report to NAPTIP Headquarters in Abuja on daily basis as well as surrender their travel documents to the court.

Their arraignment followed months of investigation by NAPTIP during which a prima facie case was established against 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 decision of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, reinforced the commitment to due process and legal proceedings in addressing serious allegations such as organ harvesting.

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