Obum Akunyili, one of the children of the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, has revealed the heart-wrenching details of his father’s tragic demise.
He expressed deep regret that his late father, Chike, might have been saved if immediate medical assistance had been rendered at the scene of the attack.
Obum also shared a distressing account of how onlookers, instead of rushing his father, the driver, and the security personnel to the hospital for urgent medical care after unidentified assailants shot them, were preoccupied with recording videos of the incident.
This revelation came to light during Obum’s testimony as a witness at the special session of the Anambra State Truth, Justice, and Peace Commission’s second public hearing held in Awka.
The Truth, Justice, and Peace Commission, established by Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo in June 2022, aims to investigate the causes of violent agitations and unrest in the state and the broader South East region. Obum commended the Commission for instilling hope and belief in the people, offering a platform for truth and justice.
The tragic incident involving the late Chike Akunyili occurred on September 29, 2021, when he was reportedly ambushed and killed by unidentified gunmen while returning from an event in Onitsha, Anambra State, where his late wife received a posthumous award.
Obum’s testimony underscored the unfortunate reality that his father and the driver bled to death due to the lack of immediate assistance, leaving them with no chance of possible survival.
He told the commission that his late father had about a 10 per cent chance of surviving the gunshot wound on his head if there was timely medical intervention.
He said, “People who would have helped my father, his driver and security man were busy making a viral video of the scene, asking the driver who was calling out to them for help his name until they gave up.
“Sending messages on a WhatsApp group is not justice and not investigation. Prosecution is done with facts and knowledge. My late father had about 10 per cent chance of surviving the gunshot wound on his head, if there was timely medical intervention.”
He urged Nigerians to always render assistance to dying citizens instead of making videos of them.
While appreciating the commission, he said, “The chairman and commissioners are excellent, hard-working people with high goals for the people dedicated to peace, reconciliation, and a future for Anambra State.”
Responding, the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, said, “As leaders, actors, and institutions, we have a responsibility to foster hope. It is Truth, Justice and Peace Commission but above all, it is a Hope Commission.”