May 1, 2016 — A Federal High Court sitting in Delta State on Friday sentenced a man Paul Osita, to five years imprisonment for possession and distribution of fake drugs.
Paul Osita (the Accused) was arrested this past September in Asaba by officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). He was alleged to have been manufacturing fake anti-malaria drugs at his residence.
In October 2015, he was arraigned on a seven-count charge, bordering on possession, importation, distribution and packaging of fake and unwholesome drugs. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but at his re-arraignment, pleaded guilty to count one for possession of fake drugs including Rysovin – 500, Buscomac – 10mg, Maloxine, Lumartem, Lofnac – 100, an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act CAP C34 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 3(a) of the Act.
The other charges were struck out following his guilty plea.
The Accused pleaded for leniency through his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Nathaniel. Prosecution witness, Sgt. Msugh Akade, told the court that all the drugs manufactured by the accused person were taken to laboratory which proved they were fake and without any substance to cure the malaria diseases they were manufactured for.
While delivering the judgment on April 29, 2016, Justice Anthony Faji said the prosecution had proved its case before the court and that the defendant was found guilty as charged. He further stated that the offence was punishable under Section 3 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004 and that the Accused, a graduate of Economics cannot be said to be ignorant of what he was doing and that the Accused had abused the privilege of education.
“The offence of drug counterfeiting has a serious detrimental effect on persons. One wonders how many people would have been affected by the [Accused’s] conduct if he had not been apprehended….The [Accused] 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 [Accused] to a minimum custodian sentence of five years imprisonment,” the Judge stated.