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|Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by oluks05: 7:05am On Aug 16, 2014|
AUGUST 16, 2014 BY JESUSEGUN ALAGBE
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He emerged from his room in a red T-shirt and blue denim on Sunday, August 3, 2014 in a state of despair and sober
reflection. Slowly settling down in a white plastic chair in the hotel lobby where he had agreed to speak with our
correspondent, he told a rather unusual story of his ordeal in the hands of his close friend who lured him into selling
one of his kidneys for just $7,500 (N1.2m). That was 2008.
However, before he could talk, our correspondent had to part away with N10,000, N5,000 paid in cash and the other
N5,000 for exotic drinks and meal.
Not knowing that his friend, who had also become an agent in the international organ trade market, was only mindful
of what would flood his bank account, he went headlong into deciding that he would do his friend’s bidding.
Martins said he had only one reason why he was willing to sell one of his kidneys for that amount: financial
He had tried to make a meaning out of his life. While growing up, he had dreamt of becoming an engineer. But his
parents did not have the wherewithal to support his dream.
So he settled for the less and trained as a plumber. Up till today, he said he is a professional plumber, but not the
type that could free him from poverty.
So when he was approached by his childhood friend, he did not think times over before accepting the offer. He would
sell his kidney, his friend, who was also the agent, would make about $1,800 (N300,000), while he would pocket the
balance — $5,600 (N900,000). He felt it was balanced Mathematics, but the complexity of the deal was none he could
According to Martins, his friend, Sola, had a link with some individuals in Nigeria, mostly people who were looking for
people who could donate kidneys to loved ones who needed to be flown abroad for kidney transplant.
A part of the money paid for the kidney would go to the agent, while the other part would be given the donor.
As an agent, Sola was called one day in October 2008 by a client who was based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The
client was a man whose 27-year-old daughter’s two kidneys had failed and needed to be flown to India for a
transplant. N1.2m was the amount agreed upon by both parties to strike a deal.
Then the agent’s work was to look for someone who would sell his kidney and be paid a part of the money put down
by the client.
Martins was the donor in this case who was hoping he would make N900,000 when the deal was over, but his friend
chose to be ‘smarter’ than him. Instead of being paid, he (Martins) was the one who ‘paid’ and is still ‘paying.’
Martins said, “When I was tricked into selling my kidney for money, it was even a close friend of mine that introduced
me into the trade. And I did not doubt him for a second. I wanted my life to change positively. I did not know he
would eventually betray me due to the trust I had in him. Things were a bit tough for me then and I was desperate to
make a change in my life.
“Sola was looking for someone to donate a kidney to a person, and since I had been living in penury, I decided to
take a chance. I thought it was a little issue. He told me the huge amount of money that was usually paid to donors. I
told him I would do it.
“The client I was to sell my kidney to was in Port Harcourt at that time, so I travelled there and was lodged in a hotel,
the name of which I cannot remember now. The following day, I was taken to the General Hospital in the city for
To be tested by the doctors in the General Hospital, Port Harcourt, Martins said he had to pretend as if he was a
relative of the patient, and that he did it ‘gladly.’ All he was hoping for was the money.
He said, “I had to pretend as if I was a family member of the client who needed my kidney so doctors could allow me
undergo the tests.
“I was made to undergo different medical tests ranging from HIV, to blood group, and whether my kidney matched with
that of the sick.
“That was just the beginning, and everything seemed to work perfect. I was made to understand that assuming I had
any disease like gonorrhoea or others, I would be treated here before I travelled out of the country, as far as my
kidney matched with the sick’s.
“The second stage was the processing of visa and other travelling documents for me. The agent was to take care of all
this. My own responsibility as the donor was just to obey all their commands.
“To process the visa, I took pictures with the family of the patient, which made the officials at the embassy believe I
was really a relative of the client. I was also made to bear the name of the family of the client so that there would be
no suspicion by the officials at the embassy.”
Martins said he learned that if the client were a Yoruba, he would be given a Yoruba name; in this case, the patient
and his father (who was the client) were from Rivers State, and so he was given a name that resembled theirs.
He continued, “Meanwhile, as all these were going on, I never knew that negotiations between the client and the
agent were also ongoing, I was just obeying their bidding; at least I thought my friend could be trusted.
“Before we travelled and because everything seemed to be working according to plan, my agent told me I had to get
new clothes to travel with to India, so I borrowed some money from them, to be repaid from the money they would pay
“Normally, the client would not pay the agent the money until the day of travelling and the agent would not pay the
donor until he was sure the operation was successful.
“I never knew all these until I experienced it. My friend was the agent and that was why I did not bother asking for the
money before I travelled to India.
“On the day I was to travel with the family of the patient, we were lodged in a hotel in the Ketu area of Lagos. We got
to the airport around 5am and I was thinking all through the journey. I was hoping my life would be better if
everything was successful.”
MIOT Hospitals in Chennai, India was the destination. Everything had worked very well in Nigeria, but that was just
the first step.
Martins continued, “We got to the hospital and we were lodged there. The following day, I began another series of
medical tests. The medical personnel, who attended to me there, Doctor Tashir, sat me down and asked who I was to
“I told the doctor she was my niece. He asked me if I knew the consequence of what I was about to do, and I told him
there was no problem. For the next one and a half months, I underwent another series of medical tests. The doctors at
the hospital trashed the ones I did in Nigeria.
“While in the hospital, I was just not comfortable with the way things were going. I wanted to be sure if the money I
was expecting to do this would really come, so I decided to call my friend who arranged the whole thing how much I
was going to be paid.
“But before I called my friend, I called the client to find out how much he paid my friend. He (the client) was in
Nigeria; it was only the lady, her mother, and me who were in India. He told me he had paid them on the day we
travelled to India, and that was where the trouble began.
“I called the agent (my friend) and asked him why he did not tell me the client had paid him.
“My friend (the agent) had even seized my phone to act as a collateral in case I failed to come back to the country
after the operation. When I heard he had been paid, I had to remind him that it was my life I was playing with, and he
assured he would pay me once I returned to the country.
“The last stage after the medical tests was that I was taken to their local council to face a panel. They asked me again
if I was ready for the operation that would last for 27 hours, and to know if I was ready for death in case it came. To
all these I said yes.
“Unfortunately, the patient’s mother started treating me unfairly. She believed I had been paid. At a point, I had to tell
my friend that I would not do it again if I was not paid. I even told him to go and give the money to my mother,
though she did not know anything about it. But he kept assuring me the money was safe.”
Eventually, Martin’s kidney was removed and everything seemed to go well, but he later realised his woe had just
He said, “After the removal of my kidney, I called the agent again to tell him to send me some money for my flight
home. That was when I knew I had been used and dumped.
“He changed the tone of his voice and told me to stay in India. He started asking me what I was coming to do in
Nigeria. I had planned to use the N900,000 to buy a bus for transport business here in Lagos, to start life afresh. That
had been my thought all along.
“On December 2, 2008, after about three months of being in India and 10 days after the operation, I said I was going
home. With no money and no good treatment from the patient’s mother, I was stranded. Even though I had the
opportunity of stealing their dollar notes in their wardrobe, I did not do so. I could never do such a thing. I felt pity
for the lady.”
On December 3, 2008, Martins eventually got a ticket to be flown to Nigeria and could not believe that he had been
made to pass through the horrible situation for nothing.
He said, “I tried all I could, and from the money I had borrowed before leaving, I came back to Nigeria.
“My parents never knew where I went and stayed for almost three months. Things were really pathetic. I met a lot of
problems at home which I hoped I could solve with the money I would get. On this same matter, I lost my elder sister
who was pregnant because it was her money that I took from home, hoping that I would settle her when I return.
“The baby died, she too died, my world collapsed. Out of the N900,000 I was expecting, my friend paid me only
N250,000. That was after I had threatened him. I could not involve the police because I knew it was one of those hard
choices I made. That was how I was duped in the process of selling my kidney.”
From the amount he could collect from his agent, Martins was able to set up a football viewing centre, which has
Another person with a similar story to tell is Dayo. Not also willing to remain in financial mediocrity all his life, he
thought the ‘mouth-watering’ offer Sola (same agent for Martins) offered him was not too small to sell his kidney.
Afterall, he learned in Biology that man needs only one kidney to survive.
So when he was approached at the same time with his friend by Sola, he did not bother to consult with anyone before
he decided he would sell his kidney for N1m.
Almost similar experience with Martins’, the same agent, who is also their friend, manipulated him and gave him just
N500,000 out of the sum he bargained for.
However, the irony of the whole thing is that through some manipulative means, the agent told Dayo that he was also
into travelling agency and that he could help him secure a visa to the United Kingdom, but the unfortunate thing was
that Dayo did not think twice before he withdrew the whole money he was paid for selling his kidney.
He said, “I gave him the whole money he gave me back, waiting to fly to London. Up till now, I have not heard
anything from Sola again neither have I been given any visa to travel. My whole life is in chaos now.
“I cannot even tell anyone in my family that I did such a horrible thing. I have been lying to many people who saw the
mark on my body. Who will ever believe I sold my kidney for money? My life is ruined.
“My mother will not even believe it. In my desperation for money I have destroyed my whole life. I just pray that God
will forgive me because this is something I have never told anyone.”
Dayo only allowed our correspondent take his back picture, using his right palm cover the stretch mark. He said his
family and friends would identify him if they see his full back.
Professor Itse Sagay, a human rights lawyer, believes that organ trade is criminal and must be fought.
He said, “Definitely it is an infringement of the law against threat to human life. It is contained in the criminal code. It
takes on a criminal hue. This matter should be investigated while the people doing this trade should be punished
according to the law.”
The Ministry of Health’s spokesperson, Dan Nwomeh, said Nigeria needs to sign the proposed National Health Bill
into law before organ trade transactions get out of hand. He clamoured for the prompt signing of the bill into law for
the regulation of organ transplant in the country.
He said, “We hear rumours about the trade, but the truth of the matter is that we have a big problem at hand, and this
is because there is no law regulating organ transplant in Nigeria. There is no law at all now, and what can the
Ministry of Health do when there is no law?
“That is why we have been canvassing for the signing of the National Health Bill. If the bill is signed into law,
important health issues like organ transplant and fertility medicine will be regulated. It will not be done in the secret.
“But while we are waiting for the National Health Bill to be signed into law, everything depends on the practitioners to
do the proper thing. You cannot say someone who is into the organ trafficking business has committed an offence
since there is no law yet that is against or regulating it.”
Nwomeh added that the Ministry of Health would continue to canvass for the signing of the National Health Bill into
He said, “The health minister and the Ministry of Health will continue to push forward until this particular bill is
signed into law. Until such happens, there are bound to be shady businesses like that.”
The Vice-President of the Commonwealth Medical Association and former President of the Nigerian Medical
Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, corroborated the comment of the health ministry.
He said that the bill takes into account provisions for the regulation of organ transplant and fertility medicine in the
country. He said if the bill is not signed, the perpetrators would continue to have a field day.
Enabulele said, “Right now, organ trade is commoner outside the country, especially in India, and so it is not
unexpected that the business there is booming due to the fact that people from other countries go there to do it.
“It is definitely illegal and a criminal act, but in the absence of regulation, no one can be blamed. People are doing
many things underground and even if you apprehend them, under what law are you going to charge them? What
penalties will be levied on them?
“In terms of the robustness of the trade in Nigeria, I think one is certainly not very much aware of how it is, but I
know that the usual destination point is India because that is where all sorts of trafficking take place.
“This is one of the reasons that when I was the president of the Nigerian Medical Association, I actively supported the
passage of the National Health Bill because it has the provisions for the regulation of organ transaction, including the
kidney, to make sure there are rules and strict adherence to the guidelines for organ transactions, unlike having an
unregulated market where anything happens.
“It is even now important that there is acceleration in terms of getting the President’s assent to harmonise the
National Health Bill to prevent the burgeoning of illegal organ transactions. If it is happening, it is the sign that there
needs to be some sort of regulation.
“If the guidelines are not there, there will be an astronomical increase in criminal activities in organ transplant due to
the level of poverty. Many unwilling donors will end up in the hands of fraudsters. If people must donate their organs,
then it must be according to certain guidelines.
“Normally, organs are not what to be donated for a fee, it should be voluntary out of empathy for a victim (either a
relative or friend) just like blood donation. It should be out of one’s empathic disposition.
“Guidelines must be put in place to prevent extortions like this whether they are doing it because of poverty or not. A
framework must be put in place to regulate organ transplant in the country through the signing of the health bill.”
Enabulele emphasised that there was nothing wrong in donating human organs, but that it should be done voluntarily
and freely under the regulation of the law.
He added, “There is nothing wrong with a doctor offering help out of his own volition in referring a patient who needs
an organ replacement to countries like India; however, it must be voluntary or else the whole essence of the human
life is gone.”
A mail sent to the MIOT hospitals, Chennai, India was not replied as of the time of going to press.
The spokesperson for the India High Commission in Lagos, Mr. Vyan Choudhauy, expressed surprise that some
Nigerians are engaged in the trade in his country. He also promised to send a message to the Consul in India for
He said, “Definitely, it is a wrong thing to do. I will forward a mail to the Indian Consul and I am sure necessary
actions will be taken against the situation. No matter the money involved, it is wrong for people to sell their organs.
We will do everything possible to investigate this matter and give you the feedback.”
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by sammieguze(m): 7:25am On Aug 16, 2014|
Well... what else do i expect when poverty and greed thrives in the land.
All is well
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Youngzedd(m): 7:25am On Aug 16, 2014|
The love of money.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by justi4jesu(f): 7:26am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by bunmioguns(m): 7:27am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by kobonaire(m): 7:27am On Aug 16, 2014|
One Nigerian duped by another .... sigh
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by freshness2020: 7:29am On Aug 16, 2014|
A Plight of a very sick nation.
Everything revolves round the government!
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Cymbal: 7:29am On Aug 16, 2014|
Eleyi gidi gan oooooo.
What a pity!!!
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by holyboss(m): 7:30am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by ericgold(m): 7:31am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by grayht(m): 7:31am On Aug 16, 2014|
friend or foe
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Nobody: 7:31am On Aug 16, 2014|
Ur best friend,
Ur worst enemy
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Nobody: 7:32am On Aug 16, 2014|
still trying to believe..
i know how many of my fellow nationals are willing to do this just for the cash...
too late to cry when d head is off
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Nobody: 7:32am On Aug 16, 2014|
Bad journalism, how were they "tricked" They agreed to sell their kidneys they were only duped afterwards. The first guy is a bad manager and business man, why didnt he participate in the negotiation and collect his money upfront? Why did his veiwing center fail?
The only lesson here is properly negotiate yourself before selling your kidneys, the agent will dupe you if you dont. They were not lied to, they knew what they were going to do so how were they "tricked"?
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by cmacs(m): 7:32am On Aug 16, 2014|
hmm.. poverty, the root cause of problem..
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by chinex276(m): 7:32am On Aug 16, 2014|
So d o.p expects me 2 read dis novel.
I don't even pity dem, awuf dey even run belle
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by ifyalways(f): 7:33am On Aug 16, 2014|
If only we change our mindsets . . .
There is no short cut in life. Greed, ignorance and seeking for short cuts never pays.
Hardwork, patience and determination is the key.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by otokx(m): 7:33am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by JaypeeAnics(m): 7:35am On Aug 16, 2014|
Tricked No its greed...Nigerians always have that mentality that whenever they travel out of the country,they have to become rich before coming back....GOD please help our country NIGERIA.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by overhypedsteve(m): 7:37am On Aug 16, 2014|
Stealing the kidney of my fellow nigerians. Hmm isn't this robbery? How can somebody just deprive a man of his gologolor. We need to sanction the supply of kidney to India. Lets see how they will see free people kidney to thief.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by AIZubair(m): 7:38am On Aug 16, 2014|
Terrible. See our life for naija. Joblessness and Unemployment palava.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by segradino(m): 7:39am On Aug 16, 2014|
Nigerian and d quest of making it by all means
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|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by stuchman: 7:39am On Aug 16, 2014|
All these 4 money, people perish 4 lack of knowledge.
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by femimike1(m): 7:40am On Aug 16, 2014|
|Re: Nigerians Tricked Into Selling Kidneys In Indian Hospitals Share Horrible Tales by Ksslib(m): 7:40am On Aug 16, 2014|
Sometimes things can get so hard but come-on, sell your kidney for money? I mean, how bad is the situation to warrant such?
At the end, how much did they get after all the pains and stress. I feel sorry for them sha.
And as for their so called friend, his day of reckoning is coming. Friend indeed.
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