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The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has assured Nigerians of its commitment to conducting tests on the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of its contribution to containing the disease.
The Director-General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, who stated this in Yaba, Lagos, during a press briefing, said the organisation is doing its best in testing COVID-19 patients, but its efforts are been sabotaged.
Salako said on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, a television station alleged sharp practices against the institute, where its officials were accused of issuing fake COVID-19 test results.
Salako explained that the institute was shocked over the news because as an institution with an unblemished reputation whose vision is to promote national health and development, it raises a serious concern to know that their efforts are being sabotaged.
He said in reaction to the broadcast, the institution immediately set up an investigative committee with the mandate to probe and come up with facts on the truism or otherwise of the allegation.
Salako noted that a thorough investigation by the committee revealed that two individuals who are neither staff nor agents of NIMR are behind the issuance of COVID-19 results without proper testing.
He said the suspect -Enoch Basyan and Fazing Binrah were caught in the act while trying to conduct a COVID-19 test for one of the NIMR staff members who acted as a dummy patient at the front of a bank Isolo, Lagos.
He said: “They were promptly arrested by the Police from Asuwani Police Station who have been previously requested to join us to effect the arrest of the culprits. Upon arrest, their vehicle was searched and several copies of laboratory request forms including that of our institute were found in their possession, they thereafter admitted committing the alleged offence and they have been handed over to the police for further investigation.