March 29, 2023

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Friday, ordered the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and others to release the certified true copy (CTC) of David Ukpo’s biodata to former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice.

The ruling was however given by Justice Inyang Ekwo following an originating summon marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, moved by Ekweremadu’s counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN.

Ekweremadu and his wife had, in the application dated and filed on June 27 by Awomolo, sued NIMC and four others.The Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank; United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc were others mentioned in the suit as 2nd to 5th respondents respectively.

Rolling back to June 23, when the couple remanded in the UK police custody, after they were arraigned before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court for alleged conspiracy to facilitate the travel of David Ukpo, alleged to be minor, for organ harvesting.They, however, denied the allegations and the court adjourned till July 7 for a hearing.

Ekweremadu appeared before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court on Thursday where he was denied bail.But in the originating summon, he and his wife prayed the court for an order directing all the defendants to supply them with the CTC of Ukpo’s biodata information for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation and tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the criminal charges against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.

Therefore, when the matter was called, Awomolo informed the court that an application had been filed, seeking the order to strike out the name of the 5th defendant (Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc) and Justice Ekwo granted the prayer.The senior lawyer informed the court that all the defendants had been served with the court processes.Justice Ekwo then asked the lawyer of the 4th defendant (United Bank of Africa), G. O. Maduka, if they were served and he responded in the affirmative.According to him, after going through their motion on notice, there was no reaction felt to it.Moving his motion, Awomolo said the application dated and filed on June 27 was supported by an affidavit and a written address.

“I respectfully adopted all the processes, my lord,” he said.Awomolo called the attention of the court to letters written by the defendants, indicating that until his client’s application is granted by the court, “they will not be able to respond to their request.”In a short ruling, the judge held that having been satisfied that the defendants had been served and looking at the averments in the application, “I make an order granting the prayers.”

Marvelous Ogidi

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