Lagos – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has lost bid to amend a charge it preferred against Barewa Pharmaceutical Company accused of manufacturing adulterated teething mixture.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused NAFDAC the application filed by its counsel, Mr Anthony Ijohor (SAN).
Justice Okechukwu Okeke, in his ruling refused the application to withdraw the previous charge before it and adjourned to Jan. 7 to afford the parties in the case time to determine the defendants in the trial.
Ijohor had sought to withdraw the amended charge in which Dare Okunlola was substituted for late Mr Gbadegeshin Okunlola, the Managing Director.
The late Okunlola, his company and two other employees were on March 8, 2009, arraigned for alleged production and distribution of the killer teething mixture, `My pikin’.
Citing the provisions of section 467 (2) and (3), of the Criminal Procedure Act, the lawyer informed the court that the prosecution had served a letter on the company requesting it to provide a substitute for the deceased accused.
He said that the prosecution no longer had any intention to proceed with the previous amended charge but had instead preferred a new charge from which the younger Okunlola’s name had been struck out.
Ijohor told the court that the company was yet to respond, as they had asked for some time to enable them comply.
He therefore urged the court to formally withdraw the amended charge and also to grant an adjournment to enable the company to comply with production of a representative.
The prosecutor also informed the court that the defence counsel, Mr Osaro Eghobamien (SAN), had informed him of his inability to be in court.
NAN recalls that the teething mixture was allegedly responsible for the death of about 80 children in the country.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail by the court.
The prosecutor had said that the offences contravened Section 1 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. 25 of 1999 and punishable under section 3 of the Act.
However, Eghobamien at the last sitting had sought for the court to strike out the name of the company from the suit.
According to him, the death of the first accused ought naturally to bring the case against the company to an end. (NAN)