Reps to investigate alleged illicit trade in human organs

Reps to investigate alleged illicit trade in human organs

The House of Reps has resolved to investigate alleged illicit trade in human organs between Nigeria and China.

The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Rimamnde Kwewum (PDP-Taraba) and also co-sponsored by Rep. Olajide Olatubosun (APC-Oyo), at plenary on Thursday, April 22.

Moving the motion earlier, Kwewum said that about two weeks ago, Chinese authorities seized a cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated penises.

According to him, they were found in 36 boxes labelled as plantain on the ship that harboured at the Shanghai port called Red Market.

He also said the Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa; also used organs that were harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities.

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“The media was awash a few years ago with horrifying stories of the harvest of organs of Nigerians and other Africans stranded in Libya for sale in Europe, the Middle East, America, as well as China.

“Aware that the increasing cases of missing persons; ritual killings; as well as trafficking of persons out of the country may be linked to the Red Market; which can be attributed to the trafficking of young men and women who end up being victims of organ harvesting;

“Also aware that the increased banditry; kidnappings; and spiraling violence in several parts of the country today make those parts of the country vulnerable; and provide safe havens and ready supply channels for the illicit activities,” he said.

Kwewum said that the harvest of organs could only be done by medical surgeons with the aid of rogue public officials.

The Reps said that perpetrators of the illicit trade generated between US$ 600 million to US$ 1.2 billion profit annually.

Kwewum recalled that in 1987, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the illegal trade violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Cognisant that the International Community has made efforts to curb the menace of Red Market; such as the Istanbul Declaration urging professionals to put an end to the unethical actions; where organs of unfortunate victims of economic migrants and human trafficking in Europe as well as the Middle East are ripped off; thereby constituting a gross abuse of the rights to life of those Nigerians.

“Convinced that if nothing is done to curb this criminal act, more criminals will set up shops; dealing in human organs in Nigeria; taking advantage of the insecurity in the country,” he said.

The Reps mandated the Committees on Human Rights and National Security and Intelligence; to investigate the whole gamut of this value chain, known as Red Market or illicit market in human organs.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the Reps, Ahmed Wase, mandated the committees to report back; within 10 weeks for further legislative action.

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