Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC (formerly Consumer Protection Council), has attacked Nicholas Ibekwe, a journalist, over an investigative story he published nine years ago.
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Irukera, in a tweet, labelled Ibekwe irresponsible and reckless.
Ibekwe, in his report published on now defunct NEXT newspaper, had accused Irukera of profiting, at the expense of victims, in the settlement paid by Pfizer to the Kano State government after it emerged the American company used children from the state as guinea pigs in the testing of its drug, Trovan.
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The report described Irukera, who was working in the United States as an attorney, as an ambulance chaser, a term used to describe a lawyer who looks to make money from victims’ settlement. It accused Irukera of ‘hijacking’ the case from the government’s team with the assistance of Bayo Ojo, a former Attorney-General of the Federation. He then used Yemi Osinbajo, former attorney-general of Lagos State, and Maryam Uwais to form a team to “gain his aim”.
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Irukera, angered by the publication over nine years ago, launched a series of attacks at the journalist, calling him names. He lambasted Ibekwe for reposting the story saying it does not add any credibility to his claims.
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“The existence or your republishing the story does not add credibility to the story. There’s always been a record of it including on the Internet. Now people will have the opportunity to check it against other records including of payments to victims & and the PMB IDH in Kano,” he said.