Emeka Ugwuonye, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of The Due Process Advocates (DPA), has outlined what he terms as 'the strategic errors that put Ekweremadu in trouble.'
Emeka Ugwuonye is a Harvard-trained lawyer
Former Legal Consultant at African Development Bank
Former Legal counsel at World Bank Group
Former Policy Advisor at Harvard University
And currently the President/CEO at Eculaw Group
Below is a breakdown of the errors he outlined.
1. Failure to use lawyers:
Ekweremadu did not engage the services of a law firm with good practice in health law to give him an advisory opinion on how to go about obtaining a kidney for his daughter.
He relied on the advice of Dr. Obinna Obeta, a British-based Nigerian doctor, and Dr. Oweh, his own brother, who were both medical doctors, although nephrologists.
His failure to involve lawyers was fatal because they would have interviewed David, the donor, upon his arrival in the UK, appointed a British lawyer for him, generated a document, and ensured that David was fully informed and willing to consent to the procedure.
If Ekweremadu had managed to get a lawyer for David in Nigeria, even a quack lawyer, it would have saved him a lot. A Nigerian lawyer acting as David's lawyer would have signed any document stating that he fully informed his client of all the health risks associated with the procedure, and he freely and willingly consented to the procedure.
This would have saved Ekweremadu.
2. Failure to comply fully with the British law on organ harvesting:
Ekweremadu failed to comply fully with British law on organ harvesting. There are strict regulations governing organ donation all over the world, and the UK has one of the most stringent regulatory standards. Had he engaged the services of lawyers, they would have presented him with a step-by-step guide on what to do and what not to do.
3. Failure to recognize that organ donation is a regulatory concern, not a scientific one:
Ekweremadu relied on the advice of Dr. Obinna Obeta and Dr. Oweh, who were both medical doctors, but not experts on kidney transplants.
He did not realize that organ donation is a regulatory concern rather than a scientific one.
4. Failure to avoid dubious characters:
Ekweremadu involved some shady characters, such as his doctor friend, who got ten years imprisonment for his involvement in the crime. This made it easy for the prosecutor to argue that Ekweremadu was involved in a conspiracy to traffic human organs.
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