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Court orders NIS, banks to release Ukpo’s biodata

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and three banks to immediately release details of David Ukpo to the detained former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice to defend themselves in a London court.

Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, filed and moved by a team of lawyers to the former lawmaker and his wife anchored by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and Chief Oba Maduabuchi, SAN.

The judgment against the defendants followed their non-appearance in court to defend the suit.

When the matter was called, Awomolo informed the court that an application had been filed seeking the order striking out the name of the 5th defendant (Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc) and Justice Ekwo granted the prayer.

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.”

Senator Ekweremadu and his wife were on June 23, remanded in the United Kingdom (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 a minor, for organ harvesting.

They, however, denied the allegations and the court adjourned till July 7 for hearing.

Ekweremadu also appeared before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court on Thursday where he was denied a bail.

By the court order, all official information including the account opening package in relation to Ukpo are to be released to Senator Ekweremadu to ascertain the real age of the said Ukpo.

Ukpo had claimed at a London court that he was a minor of 15 years, which led to the arrest and detention of the Nigerian Senator.

Other defendants are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as 2nd to 5th respondents, respectively.

In the originating summon, the duo prayed the court for an order directing all the defendants to supply them with the CTC of David Ukpo’s biodata information in their care 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.

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