The House of Representatives has begun an investigation into the discreet, illegal human organs’ trade between Nigerian and Chinese trafficking syndicates.
The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by a member, Rimamnde Kwewum from Taraba State and co-sponsored by Olajide Olatubosun from Oyo State at the plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion earlier, Kwewum said that about two weeks ago, Chinese authorities seized a cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with thousands of human private parts.
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 said the Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa used organs which were harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities.
“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 and China.
“Aware that the increasing cases of missing persons, ritual killings and 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 spiralling 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 harvest of organs could only be done by medical surgeons with the aid of rogue public officials.
He added that the perpetrators of the illicit trade generated between $600 million to $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 and 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 House 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 house, Ahmed Wase, mandated the committees to report back within 10 weeks for further legislative action.