By Emeka Ugwuonye, Esq.
David Ukpo Nwamini is the 21-year-old Lagos street hawker who was to give his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter in London. When he was interviewed at the hospital in London, they asked him if he knew he was going to donate his kidney to Sonia Ekweremadu.
He first told them that he had no money to donate. They explained to him that it was his kidney that he was going to donate. He asked them what a kidney was. Initially, the doctors thought it was a question of language since David’s English was not good enough.
However, they eventually understood that David did not know which human organ was called the kidney. In other words, he did not know what organ he was to give Sonia. That led the doctors to conclude that the procedure was not well explained to David, and that is the number one requirement by law.
According to the law, you must explain to the organ donor the procedure and all the health risks associated with it. It is only then that the donor is considered to have informedly consented. When the doctors found that David did not understand what he was about to get involved in, they declared him a mismatch.
The term “mismatch” is a technical, generic term to indicate that the proposed organ harvesting has not met all the requirements. Many in Nigeria have misunderstood the term “mismatch” in this case to mean that David’s kidney was not suitable for Sonia.
No! There was nothing wrong with David’s kidney. To donate an organ, the facts must match both the law and the science governing the procedure. While the kidney matched the scientific requirement, the facts did not match the legal requirement. So it was declared a mismatch. To help you understand it better, the term “mismatch” means there is a discrepancy.
The doctors who interviewed David did not and could not have determined that a crime had been committed. The doctors did not have sufficient information to reach such a conclusion then.
They felt uncomfortable with the discrepancies in the information they had about the donor, his decisions, and whether he had made up his mind. For instance, the doctors did not get involved in how David was brought to them or whether he was paid. It was not their duty to deal with that.
It was actually when Ekweremadu and Dr. Obinna attempted to return David to Nigeria that the problem started. David expected that he would be given a job in London, as he was told before he left Nigeria. They did not give him a job, and they did not send him to school.
Instead of all he had promised, he was asked to prepare to return to David ran away from the house where he was kept. As hunger wired him, he reported himself to the police. To win the immediate protection of the police, he lied about his age, telling them he was 15. It was when he was interviewed by the police that the information came out that established that a crime had been committed. For instance, it was at the police station that they asked him if he was paid money, and he said yes, he was paid N270,000.
When the police checked the WhatsApp chats between Ekweremadu and Dr. Obeta, they realised that Ekweremadu actually paid 4.5 million for Obeta to pay David. But Obeta only paid David N270,000 and pocketed the rest.
In fact, Ekweremadu tried to keep himself away from certain details of the deal. That was why Ekweremadu never discussed money with David. In fact, he did not deal directly with David. That was what made it possible for Obeta to cheat him. Ekweremadu believed that the 4.5 million went to David.
But since he was not dealing with David directly, he never knew that Obeta pocketed most of the money. However, the law viewed Ekweremadu’s decision not to deal directly with David as typical behaviour of a big man who knew that he was getting involved in a crime. He would usually try to create some distance between him and the crime, yet he will be funding the crime from afar.
Otherwise, how come you never wanted to meet the boy who is giving his kidney to your daughter and whom you called cousin to your daughter (which actually makes him your nephew)? Rather than see the non-direct dealing as evidence of his innocence, it was seen as deliberate or willful ignorance aimed at evading legal responsibility.
One of the key factors that worked against Ekweremadu was that he lied. On three official documents he signed, he stated that David was Sonia’s cousin. But in all the WhatsApp chats he had with the doctor and his own brother over the matter, he referred to David as “that guy”.
Hence the question: “You knew he was not Sonia’s cousin. While you signed that he was her cousin, when you wanted to say the truth, you referred to him as “that guy”, meaning you didn’t know him or even remember his name”. Ekweremadu admitted in court that he lied and apologised.
Editor’s Note: This article was published to provide details and correct the wrong information that David misled Ekweremadu and took advantage of him. No, David is a real victim. He did not manipulate them. He was manipulated by Dr. Obinna Obeta, who was working for Ekweremadu.