Pfizer hired investigators to pressure Nigeria’s attorney general to drop lawsuit
Friday, December 10, 2010
NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against Nigeria’s attorney general to convince him to drop legal action against the company over a drug trial involving children, the Guardian newspaper reported, citing U.S. diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.
Nigeria’s Kano state sued the world’s largest drugmaker in May 2007 for $2 billion over testing of the meningitis drug Trovan. State authorities said the tests killed 11 children and left dozens disabled.
The Guardian reported on its website on Thursday that a memo leaked by WikiLeaks referenced a meeting between Pfizer’s country manager, Enrico Liggeri, and U.S. officials suggesting the drug company did not want to pay to settle two cases brought by Nigeria’s federal government. The Guardian linked to the cables on its website, www.guardian.co.uk/.
“According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to federal Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases,” according to an April 2009 cable from Economic Counselor Robert Tansey of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, cited in the Guardian report. “He said Pfizer’s investigators were passing this information to local media.”
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