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A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba on Friday sentenced an unemployed graduate, Paul Osita, to five years imprisonment for possession and distribution of fake drugs.
Osita was arraigned in October 2015 on a seven-count charge, bordering on possession, importation, distribution and packaging of fake and unwholesome drugs.
Counterfeit drugs recovered from the defendant and tendered as exhibits include Buscomac 10mg, Maloxine, Lofnac 100mg, Lumartem and Rysovin 500mg. When Osita was arraigned in October, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, but at his re-arraignment, pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of fake drugs.
Delivering judgment, Justice A.O Faji said the prosecution had proved its case before the court and that the defendant was guilty as charged. He said the offence of the defendant was punishable under Section 3 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004
The defendant, who is a graduate of Economics cannot be said to be ignorant of what he was doing. He knew very well what he was doing.
“The offence of drug counterfeiting has a serious detrimental effect on persons. One wonders how many people would have been affected by the defendant’s conduct if he had not been apprehended,” the judge said. Faji in his judgment also chided the convict for what he termed,” abuse of the privilege of education.”
The defendant who is an economist, who should be thinking of ways to grow our economy, is rather increasing the population of people in the hospitals, mortuaries and cemeteries by his conduct. I hereby sentence the defendant to a minimum custodian sentence of five years imprisonment,” the judge stated.
NAN recalls that Osita was arrested on Sept. 7, 2015, in Asaba by officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), while manufacturing fake anti-malaria drugs in his house.
A spokesperson for NAFDAC, Mr Anslem Okonkwor, commended the court for the judgment and expressed the hope that the pronouncement would serve as a deterrent to others dealing on fake drugs.