The Management of Alliance Hospital and Services Limited has sued Media Trust Ltd, the publishers of Daily Trust newspaper and owners of Trust TV, over its investigative report which exposed a black-market trade in kidney around the Federal Capital Territory.
The hospital management together with its Medical Director, Dr Christopher Otabor, filed the suit before the FCT High Court in Abuja seeking redress over the publication in the Daily Trust newspaper December 10, 2023 with the title “Inside Abuja’s Kidney Market, Where the Rich Prey on the Poor.”
The claimants alleged that the publication is a “complete fabrication and lies without any truth” and are seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Media Trust from “further scandalising, degrading, embarrassing and defaming” the claimants.
Daily Trust reports that the writ of summons, which was served at the Media Trust Headquarters in Abuja on February 9, is seeking an order for a retraction and unreserved apology to be published in two national dailies.
The claimants are also demanding N400 million as special damages, N3 billion as general damage as well as N5million as costs for the suit and 10% interest on the judgement sum.
Daily Trust investigation which was published on December 10, 2023 had exposed a black-market trade in kidney around the Federal Capital Territory. The story had revealed that at least two victims; Oluwatobe Adedoyin and Yahaya Musa, whose kidneys were surgically removed at Alliance Hospital were minors at the time of the surgery.
The investigation by this newspaper also revealed that a kidney broker with the pseudonym Mayor, had recruited boys to act as agents so as to lure young boys like Oluwatobi Adedoyin and Yahaya Musa to sell their kidneys to patients with renal failure.
The two minors had confirmed that their surgery was carried out by Dr Aremu Abayomi Adeniran, a consultant urologist and the deputy director, Clinical Service at Alliance Hospital.
As reflected in the December 2023 investigation, the Medical Director of Alliance Hospital, Dr Christopher Otabor, had also confirmed to Daily Trust on record that Oluwatobi’s surgery was conducted in the same hospital. He however said the hospital does not source for kidney donors but only ensures that donors are qualified and compatible with patients to donate.
Since the publication, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has launched an investigation and made several arrests, including Mayor, the kidney broker. The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has equally set up a team to investigate the illegal trade while the Minister of Health for State, Dr Tunji Alausa, has mandated the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to investigate the involvement of hospitals.