NAFDAC arraigns agent over alleged fake drug importation
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday arraigned a traveling agent, Okechukwu Tony Maduegbunam, before the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged importation of fake drugs.
The suspect was arraigned before Justice Abdulazeez Anka on a three-count charge bordering on the alleged offence. After the charges were read to him, Maduegbunam pleaded not guilty. As a result, the prosecution counsel, Umar Shamaki, prayed the court to remind him in prison custody.
“In view of the plea of the accused, my lord, we ask for a date for trial.
“We are also asking for a remand order,” Shamaki stated.
But the defence Counsel, Samuel Ejeke, made an oral application for the bail of his client, saying: “My lord, I ask for his bail orally. I was briefed this afternoon by his sister,” he quipped.
Trial Judge, Justice Anka, however, said he was more disposed to written bail application and advised the defence to take a trial date to file their written bail application.
He stated that the accused could bring a motion for bail within the adjourned period, adding that a hearing date would be giving to him before the adjourned date.
He, thereafter, adjourned to May 17, this year and ordered his remand in prison custody. According to the charge, the accused, who lives at 11, Abibu Oki Street, Lagos Island, on or about February 10, this year at NAHCO Lagos, did import fake drugs, including anti-itch cream, Aspirin (325g) tablets, Rexall tablets, Naproxen Sodium tablets and Fexofenadine Hydrochloride.
He was also accused of importing unregistered drugs in the second count, while the third count said he imported expired drugs. Shamaki said the offences are contrary to Section 1(a) of the Counterfeit and fake drugs and unwholesome processed foods (miscellaneous provisions) Act Cap C34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and punishable under section 3(1)(a) of the same Act.
The offence of importing unregistered drugs, he said, offends Section 1(1) of Food, Drugs and Related Products (Registration Etc.) Act, Cap F33 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 6(1)(a) of the same Act.