A Nigerian state judge has issued arrest warrants for three top Pfizer officials, saying that they failed to appear in court to face charges of illegally conducting drug trials that led to the deaths of 11 children.
Judge Shehu Atiku, sitting in the city of Kano, said that Nigerian Pfizer head Ngozi Edozien and senior company officials Lare Baale and Segun Donguro failed to appear in court…
The state of Kano is seeking $2.6 billion from Pfizer, charging that the company illegally tested an experimental antibiotic, Trovan, on children in Kano during a meningitis outbreak in 1996. According to the government, the drug trials were carried out without the informed consent of the children’s parents or the Nigerian government, and led to the deaths of 11 children. Dozens of other children were allegedly harmed by the drug.
In addition to the criminal and civil suits initiated by the state of Kano, the federal government has also filed suit and charges against the corporation. The Nigerian government seeks $7 billion in damages.
United States-based Pfizer said that it would fight the arrest warrants and seek to block their implementation.
This follows Pfizer’s attempts in November to avoid federal prosecution by securing an injunction to prevent police from arraigning any company officials on federal charges.