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Chukwuweika acquitted on fake drugs charges

BENIN — A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Benin, weekend, discharged and acquitted the Managing Director of an Asaba-based pharmaceutical company, Mr. Demechi Chukwuweike, and his company, Dean Pharma-ceutical Limited, of a two count charge of producing fake drugs.

The accused were brought before the court by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over an allegation of producing  fake water for injection, oral drip and oral energy boost drink.

The accused persons, according to the particulars of the case, committed the offence on or about Septem-ber 5, 2008 and punishable under Section 3 of the Counterfeit and fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provi-sions) Act No 25 of 1999.

When the case came up for hearing, the Presiding Judge, Justice Chukwurah Nnamani,  heard that NAFDAC had written two separate letters dated September 8 and November 11, 2009, respec-tively, urging the pharmaceu-tical company to comply with some lapses in its production facility.

Justice Nnamani, after perusing the letters, held that NAFDAC could approbate, reprobate and discharge the accused persons under matter of public policy.

He ruled that NAFDAC was at liberty to commence the prosecution of the accused again only on the ground that the agency’s director-general signs a fiat for such prosecution. Counsel to NAFDAC, Mr. Chukwuemeka Iredu, while commenting on the ruling, said  NAFDADC would appeal against the judgment.

He added that it was unheard of for the director-general to sign a fiat for prosecution, adding that such duty was reserved for the Attorney – General of the federation only.


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