…say illicit trade generates up to $1.2b annually
By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committees on Human Rights and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the illicit trade of human organs in the country.
The Committees are to investigate the illicit market value chain known as Red Market and report back within 10 weeks for further legislative action.
The House was concerned that perpetrators of the illicit trade generate between 600 million to 1.2 billion dollars profit annually and have been encouraged by poor security situations to use the third world as the major suppliers.
This followed a motion on the need to investigate the illicit trade in human organs by Rep. Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum and Rep. Olajide Olatubosun.
The House noted that about two weeks ago, acting on the information provided by an anonymous source, Chinese authorities seized a cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated penises.
The body parts, which were found in 36 boxes labeled as plantain on the ship that harboured at the Shanghai port called Red Market, the House noted.
The House also noted that the Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa use organs which are harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities.
The green chamber of the National Assembly said it was 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.
The lawmakers said they were 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.
They were concerned that harvest of organs can only be done by medical surgeons with the aid of rogue public officials.
They said it was cognizant 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.
The members were 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.