Nigeria Develops Ebola, Malaria Herbal Drugs

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) says it has successfully researched and developed six traditional herbal products for the treatment of Ebola, Malaria and other diseases.

The NIPRD Director-General, Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel, said this while presenting the score card of his eight-year tenure (2009 to 2017) in Abuja on Friday.

The programme, organised by NIPRD, aimed to present the products researched and developed by the institute and present staff service awards to deserving worker.

He said that ‘NIPRIBOL’, a fixed dose combination drug was developed by the institute for the treatment of Ebola Virus Disease, adding that the institute had completed the Phase I study of the drug.

Gamaniel said that the institute had also developed ‘NIPRIMAL’, an anti-malaria for treatment of uncomplicated malaria, stating that the drug was also safe for use by pregnant women.

Others are: ‘NIPRIMUNE’ an immunostimulant which can also be used to manage HIV in Nigeria and ‘NIPRIFAN’ for the treatment of fungal skin infection.

He said that another product developed by the institute, ‘NIPRD Oil’, could be used as a nasal decongestant, insect repellant, air freshner and an anti-inflammatory agent.

He however noted that excessive use of this oil could cause irritation.

He said that “the institute has also developed ‘NIPRISAN’ for the management of sickle cell anaemia.

“We are currently concluding plans to carry out commercial production and distribution of this product.

“We have developed and implemented various institutional policies for effective governance, this include the scheme and condition of service, intellectual policy and quality management system.

“We have also ensured the introduction of traditional herbal medicine into the national health system and established partnerships with local and international organisations.

“The core competence of NIPRD is in the development of phytomedicines from indigenous plants and products, clinical trials, among others; we are a quality assured institute,” Gamaniel said.

He said that presenting a report was necessary as it would serve as a baseline for the new leadership and provide an opportunity for new strategies to be introduced.

The institute presented awards to over 150 staff for their hard work and dedication to the growth of the institute, and the research and development of traditional herbal products.


Kano Govt To Construct New Drugs Market

A new drugs market would be constructed at the Kano Economic City, the governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has revealed.
“Already an agreement has been reached between the contractor, JAIZ Bank, the drug marketers and other relevant stakeholders in respect of the project”, he governor added.
The move, he stated, was in compliance with directives of the Federal Ministry of Health, to build separate market for drug vendors, to ensure that their business was properly supervised.
Governor Ganduje made the disclosure on Wednesday evening, in Kano, while receiving an award given to him during the recent National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Annual conference, where he was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar.
The honor was based on Governor Ganduje’s stride in checking the menace of drug abuse and his remarkable effort in supporting the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Maintaining that his administration is deeply concerned about the level of drug abuse and trafficking in the state, he announced that in consolidation of its anti drug war, the state government has not too long ago, confiscated banned drugs worth hundreds of millions of Naira which would be destroyed soon.
The governor also stated the government-owned Kiru reformatory would soon be renovated and expanded to include a separate section for female drug abusers, lamenting that the problem of drug addiction among women, especially married ones in the state, was becoming alarming.
“This situation must not be allowed to continue so while thanking NDLEA for this award, I want to emphasize that our commitment in the war against drug users and traffickers will remain tough”, he said.

Attempt By Fake Doctor, ‘George Davidson’ To Blackmail, Malign NCDC Country Director, Prof Abdulsalam Exposed

Attempt by one Martins Ugwu Okpe, who has been impersonating as a medical doctor to blackmail the country coordinator of the National Centre for Disease Control has met a brick wall and landed him in police net.

According to investigations, Martins Okpe, a fake medical doctor has for the past nine years been impersonating with the certificate of one Dr. George Davidson which he used in securing employment with the Federal Ministry of Health.

Apart from the impersonation, the fake medical doctor is said to be in the habit of blackmailing top government appointees, especially those he suspects to have skeletons in their cupboard to curry favours for himself. Luck however ran out on him when he tried to blackmail the NCDC Country Director, Prof Abdulsalam Nasidi.

Professor Abdulsalam is a physician with more than 32 years of experience in clinical medicine, public health, virology and the development of vaccines and biological products. He retired as a Director, Special Duties, in the Federal Ministry of Health and was later appointed the Country Coordinator, National Centre for Disease Control as well as the Acting Executive Director of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Surveillance and Disease Control Centre (RCDC).
Martins Okpe, the fake doctor posing as George Davidson, had approached Professor Abdulsalam requesting to share with him part of the fund committed to the containment of Ebola virus in Nigeria. His claim is that a certain percentage of the N1,992,548,500.00 (one billion, nine hundred and ninety-two thousand, five hundred forty eight thousand, naira) approved by the Federal Government for the fight against Ebola was embezzled by the Professor and some others, and so requested to share in the money or make it public.

Convinced that no such money was embezzled from the Ebola fund, Professor Abdulsalam called the bluff of the fake doctor and dared him to go public with his allegation. But Okpe, rather than reporting the alleged embezzlement to the appropriate authority petitioned the police alleging threat to life.

In the petition written on his behalf by the chambers of Festus Keyamo, Martins Okpe (George Davidson) claimed that he is being threatened and in deep fear of elimination from the face of earth together with members of his family by Professor Abdulsalam, Mr. John Akintunde, Dr. Obasanya Joshua, whom he claimed embezzled certain percentage of the 1,992,548,500.00 released by the FG for the fight against Ebola.

However, the outcome of the investigation carried out by the police reveals the contrary as the investigative report reveals that the petitioner’s claim was a desperate attempt to frustrate investigation of his alleged qualification as a Medical Doctor.

According to Police investigation, Martins Okpe (George Davidson) was a purported medical doctor who was in the employment of the Federal Ministry of Health for over nine years before he was discovered to be an imposter.

In the report dated 11th January 2016, with reference number CR: 3000/K/LEG/FHQ/ABJ/vol6/190 addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, the police said Martins Ugwu Okpe has been impersonating as one Dr. George Davidson an acclaimed staff of the Federal Ministry of Health.

“That a careful scrutiny of the petitioner’s allegations could not reveal any fact to establish a case of threat to his life or any staff of the Federal Ministry of Health by Mr. John Akintunde Kahinde, Dr. Nasidi Abdusalam, Mr. Linus Awute and Dr. Obasanya Joshua but rather his claim of assault a desperate attempt to frustrate investigation of his alleged qualification as a Medical Doctor.”

The report further stated that; “the allegation of fraud levelled against the suspects couldn’t be substantiated and even the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which equally investigated same allegation could not substantiate them.”

Furthermore, the Police hinted that rather the petitioner was; “able to fraudulently secure admission for a Professional Master’s Degree Progamme at the Nigeria Center for Disease Control tagged *Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training (NFELTP)which is a postgraduate program affiliated to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, with the connivance of Dr. Akin Oye Makinde, the coordinator of the program.”

“That copies of the academic records of the petitioner retrieved from the Faculty of Medicine of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria contained a passport size photograph that bear no resemblance of him but that of one Dr. George Daniel Davidson on residency training at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos, Plateau State.”

Exposing more on the fake Medical Doctor, the report further stated; “that Dr. George Daniel Davidson on residency training at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos, Plateau State and the actual owner of the certificate being used by the petitioner revealed the true identity of the petitioner as Martins Ugwu Okpeh and not Dr. George Davidson as claimed.”

“The man with the true identity as Martins Ugwu Okpeh has confessed that he stole the certificate of Dr. George Daniel Davidson with which he used to secure employment with Federal Civil Service as a Medical Doctor and subsequently posted to Federal Ministry of Health Abuja in 2006.”

In the light of its findings, the police concluded that “Martins Ugwu Okpe’s allegation of threat to life and fraud against the suspects are false, misleading, malicious and a ploy to thwart investigation into his criminal activities by the Federal ministry of health. He has since been charged to court for stealing the Academic Credentials of r. George Davidson and impersonation in accordance with the law.

But while the police investigation as contained in its report has been able to establish the criminal activities of Martins Okpe, the fake doctor is unrelenting in his resolve to tarnish the image of Professor Abdulsalam. His new song is that he is been witch-hunted for blowing the whistle on the alleged embezzlement. Sources said he has vowed to bring down Professor Abdulsalam at all cost.

This medium learnt that some suspected assassins invaded the home of Professor Abdulsalam, located on Cairo Street in Wuse II, Abuja on the 25th July, 2017. The suspected assassins who came into the house at about 9pm same day however met the absence of the professor and left without taking any item from the house.

Although, there are no confirmation as to who may be responsible, sources said Martins Ugwu Okpe is the number one suspect as he is said to have been seen lurking around the home of the Professor days before the hoodlums came calling. A text message he also sent to the Professor on the 8th and 9th of July, 2017 asking the professor to sell his house to him is  suspicious evidence as to his involvement in the invasion of the assassins.

In one of the text message as contained in the document below, Martins Okpe (George Davidson), whose telephone number is quoted to be 09093639356 said to the Professor, “I want to buy your property in wuse 2. How much will you offer it to me? ASAP pls. Dr Davidson.”

Efforts to reach Mr Martins Okpe to get his own side of the story proved abortive as he is said to be in detention and facing criminal prosecution for stealing the Academic Credentials of Dr George Davidson and impersonation.

Okpe was accused of stealing certificates ‎of exemption of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level), all belonging to Daniel Davidson George.

Below are documents of the police report on the investigation carried out on Martins Okpe (George Davidson), the letter from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), exonerating Professor Abdulsalam and the print out of the text messages Martins Okpe sent to the Professor.