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TI strongly condemns assassination attempt on Nigerian Integrity Awards winner

The attack on Dr Dora Akunyili highlights the perils faced by those determined to root out corruption

Transparency International (TI) condemns the assassination attempt on Dr Dora Akunyili, the Director General of the Nigerian Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Gunmen fired on the convoy of Dr Akunyili on 26 December 2003, while she was on the way to her village in Anambra State in Eastern Nigeria. The bullets narrowly missed killing her.

"The assassination attempt on Dr Akunyili illustrates the threats faced by corruption fighters worldwide, whose acts of bravery challenge those bent on disrupting law and order and undermining democracy. We call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this assassination attempt and prosecute those responsible for this heinous act," said Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International, the leading international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the fight against corruption worldwide. "We wish Dr Akunyili a speedy recovery and stand firm with her in her courageous efforts to root out corruption in Nigeria."

Dr Akunyili's courage and incorruptible nature have made her a model to many Nigerians. Her determination to tackle corrupt practices in the manufacturing, import and export of drugs, cosmetics and food products earned her a TI Integrity Award in May 2003. The Awards programme honours individuals and organisations whose efforts make a difference in curbing corruption.

Since taking up her position at NAFDAC in April 2001, Dr Akunyili has earned nationwide respect for her persistence in prosecuting manufacturers and importers of counterfeit drugs, deemed to be a leading cause of deaths by stroke and heart failure in Nigeria. Counterfeit drugs worth an estimated US$16 million have been confiscated and destroyed by Dr Akunyili and her staff, in the process saving the lives of thousands of innocent Nigerians.

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