September 30, 2021

Top Nigerian Doctor Dies in Shooting

A well-known doctor has died after being shot in southeastern Nigeria.

On Tuesday, 28 September, Dr Chike Akunyili had been travelling to Umuoji from Onitsha, Anambra State, where he had attended a university lecture at All Saints Cathedral, in honour of his late wife, Professor Dora Akunyili.

While driving through the town of Nkpor, armed gunmen opened fire on Dr Akunyili’s vehicle. The bullets struck his face, killing him. His chauffeur and a police officer who was escorting them also died.

The identity of the gunmen and their motives have yet to be determined, although Anambra State has seen a surge of attacks in recent months.

Another link to possibly consider is that the doctor’s late wife – who served as the head of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control – was instrumental in bringing awareness around counterfeit drugs to the forefront.

She survived a similar assassination attempt in 2003 before dying of uterine cancer in 2014.

Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) has since denied allegations that its operatives killed Dr Akuntili: “There was no basis for the DSS to kill the Medical Doctor and/or fellow law enforcement agents. The Service cherishes life and believes in the rule of law [sic].”

The investigation continues.

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