In a bid to tackling fake drugs and counterfeiting in Nigeria, the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has expressed deep commitment to seeing this is achieved.
Earlier this week, a prosecution witness, Mr. Folorunsho Idowu who is an Assistant Director at NAFDAC, told a Federal High Court in Lagos that a businessman, Ezeudu Emmanuel, sold unlabeled repacked food products to customers which had the potential to affect the lives, safety and health of Nigerians.
It will be recalled that the defendant, who was first arraigned before Justice Rita Ajumogobia in 2015, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N8.5 million.
The defendant was re-arranged before before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo on a 10-count charge bordering on product counterfeiting following the the transfer of Justice Ajumogobia from the Lagos Division of the court.
At the resumption of the hearing early this week, the Prosecutor, Mr. Shamaki Umar of NAFDAC, opened the case for the prosecution by calling Mr. Idowu who disclosed that he received verbal complaints that the defendant was repackaging and distributing unregistered food products. The witness unveiled evidence by tendering cartons of the food products as exhibits including bottles of Mayonnaise, black Soy Sauce and tins of milk.
Mr. Idowu told the court that complaints were received by his office, and a number of investigation were carried out all pointing to the fact that the defendant was carrying out his criminal activities at No.15, Ipaye St., Surulere. Further investigation confirmed that the defendant had falsely relabeled, repackaged and distributed the food products without registering them with NAFDAC.
The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 1,1(a), 3, 4, and 5(a) of the Food, Drugs, and related Products (Registration etc.) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Justice Oguntoyinbo adjourned the case until March 23 for continuation of trial.