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Alliance Hospital and Staff in Abuja Arraigned for Alleged Involvement in Organ Harvesting

An Abuja-based private hospital, Alliance Hospital and Service Ltd, alongside four of its staff, faced arraignment by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on an 11-count charge related to suspected involvement in organ harvesting, a grave violation of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement, and Administration Act, 2015.

The arraignment, presided over by Justice Keziah Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, unveiled disturbing allegations against the defendants. The prosecution, represented by Hassan Tahir, Director of Legal and Prosecution at NAPTIP, outlined that between February and May 2023, the accused purportedly participated in the illicit extraction of kidneys from three young males, including two minors.

Upon hearing the charges, defendants Emmanuel Muyiwa Olorunlaye, Chikaodili Ugochukwu, Dr. Christopher Otabor, Dr. Aremu Abayomi, and Alliance Hospital, collectively entered a plea of not guilty to the 11-count indictment leveled against them.

Justice Keziah Ogbonnaya, while granting bail to the defendants ahead of the scheduled trial commencing on May 6th, imposed stringent conditions. These conditions include mandatory daily reporting to the NAPTIP office in Abuja, commencing on March 19th, with exceptions granted only on days of court proceedings. Additionally, the defendants were instructed to surrender their travel documents.

In response to the bail application, Tahir, representing NAPTIP, expressed the agency’s commitment to expeditious proceedings, emphasizing the gravity of the charges. He articulated that the agency had filed comprehensive charges against the accused, encompassing the hospital and its implicated staff. Tahir underscored the necessity for accelerated hearings to swiftly address the matter and ensure justice.

In a brief statement to reporters following the court proceedings, Tahir reiterated the importance of due process while reaffirming NAPTIP’s dedication to combating such egregious offenses. He stressed the imperative of expeditious legal proceedings to adjudicate the case thoroughly.

The forthcoming trial, set to span multiple dates, underscores the significance of addressing allegations of organ harvesting, underscoring the imperative of swift justice to uphold the sanctity of human rights and deter such heinous activities in the future.

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