NAPTIP investigates human organ harvesting in Nigeria

NAPTIP DG Julie Okah-Donli
NAPTIP DG, Julie Okah-Donli

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it will commence investigation into illegal human organ harvesting in the country.

Organ harvesting is the illegal removal of human organ or tissue without a person’s consent; generally to be sold on the black market for organ transplants.

Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, disclosed this on Saturday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Mrs Okah-Donli said that cases of organ harvesting were complicated but NAPTIP would carry out full investigation in order to bring perpetrators to book.

She decried the rising cases organ harvesting in the guise of ritual killings in some parts of the country.

“NAPTIP has decided to begin full investigation because most of the times, other law enforcement agencies go out, they will come to tell us that the suspected organ harvesting is a ritual murder.

“And we have resolved to carry out our independent investigation because the law gives us the power to do that and we have strong reasons to believe that these are cases of organ harvesting.

“When that is established after our investigation, we will go after everyone found involved with the full arm of the law” she said.

The director general said that NAPTIP under her watch would continue with its mandate of fighting all forms of human trafficking in the country.

According to the UN Gift Hub, organ trafficking falls into three categories namely: Traffickers who trick the victim into giving up an organ for no cost; con artists who convince victims to sell their organs but who do not pay or who pay less than they agreed to pay and doctors who treat people for ailments which may or may not exist and remove the organs without the victim’s knowledge.