Dr Chike Akunyili, husband to the late former DG of NAFDAC, Prof Dora Akunyili, has been killed by unidentified gunmen in Anambra state.
It was gathered that Dr Chike was waylaid and murdered at Umuoji in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State on Tuesday evening. Details of his death are still unclear, however, a source close to the family confirmed the incident to newsmen.
The source said that the victim was at the University of Nigeria Nsukka Alumni Association (UNAA) where the late Dora was honoured, hours before he was killed.
Still shaken by the gruesome incident, the source said: “God, pls render the devil and his agents powerless and useless. “I was with this man yesterday same yesterday at Sharon Hall, All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha. It was an occasion of University of Nigeria Nsukka Alumni Association (UNAA), Onitsha branch event where they honoured late Dora Akunyili.
“He spoke glowingly about Dora and made a donation of 500k to the association.
He was there with his son, Obum now working with Anambra state government.
“We saw them off to the car and it was emotional when Obum hugged him tight as both of them separated to join their respective vehicles.
“Obum was in a white Hilux while the man was in a big Jeep (i think Prado). God have mercy!”
The late Dora Akunyili was known for her remarkable effors against fake-drug peddlers in the southeast.
As the Director-General of the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), she clamped down on the illicit sale of fake-drugs which was a multi-million-naira business for its sellers.
On 26 December 2003, while Akunyili was on the way to Anambra State, gunmen fired on her convoy. The bullets narrowly missed her, with one of the bullets going through her headscarf and through the windscreen of the car. Prior to the incident, she had faced constant death threats against herself, her family, and her staff.
In 2014, at least 6 people were charged with conspiracy and attempted murder, but acquitted and discharged in 2014.
She married Dr Chike Akunyili with whom she had six children and three grandchildren.
In 2017, one of her children, Njideka Akunyili Crosby was awarded the prestigious Genius Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She died at a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India on 7 June 2014 after a two-year battle with uterine cancer.
Her funeral took place on 27 and 28 August, and was attended by many dignitaries from within Nigeria and beyond, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, and a former Nigerian military ruler General Yakubu Gowon.
Akunyili was laid to rest at Agulu in Anambra state.
Nwachineke Onyeke Chekwube reporting, Obinwannem News writer / September 29,2021.