Medicine dealers docked over alleged importation of fake drugs



By Sandra Umeh

National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Wednesday, arraigned some medicine dealers before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged importation of fake drugs.

The defendants are: Bernard Chinweuba, 47; his company, Vanchris Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, Duru Chinwike, 30 and Valentine Ndukwe (who is at large).

They are standing trial before Justice Ayokule Faji on a two-count charge bordering on importation of fake and unwholesome drugs.

The first defendant and the third defendant, who also represented the company (second defendant), pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following a bail application filed on behalf of the defendants by the Defence Counsel, Mr Ikechukwu Anima, the court granted the defendants bail in the sum of N7 million, with two sureties each in like sum.

He adjourned the case till March 28 and March 29, 2023 for trial.

In the charge, the Prosecutor, Mr Barth Simon, said that the defendant committed the offences on Sept. 8 at Idumota, Lagos.

He said that Vanchris Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited (second defendant), Chinwike (third defendant) and Ndukwe (fourth defendant and Chairman of Sabongari Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Association in Kano), committed the offences at Idumota, Lagos.

He further explained that the trio aided the first defendant (Chinweuba) to import some fake drugs.

The prosecutor listed the drugs to include: Diclofenac BP 50mg (Diclosa 50), Coldtime Anti-Cold tablets, Sonidrex Tablet 50 mg and Collcap (Chlopherniramine Maleate Capsules BP 4mg.

He said that the first defendant imported the said drugs, contrary to lawful provisions, with a plan to move them to Kano.

The offences, according to him, contravene the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Food, Drugs and Related Products Registration Act, Cap. F33, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

Simon added that the offences also contravened the provisions of Section 1(c) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. C34, Laws of the Federation, 2004. (NAN)