From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
A graduate of Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mr. Osita Paul Ely was yesterday sentenced to five years in jail by the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State for possession of fake anti-malaria drugs.
Osita was arrested last year at his residence in Asaba by operatives National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and was subsequently arraigned on a seven-count charge bothering on possession, packaging, importation, labelling and distribution of fake drugs and unregistered products.
The Economics graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka pleaded guilty to count one, which led to the striking out of other charges by the court presided over by Justice A.O. Faji.
In the said count one, Osita was found to be in possession of “fake drugs to wit: Rysovin – 500, Buscomac – 10mg, Maloxine, Lumartem, Lofnac – 100.”
The offense runs 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 same act.
Delivering judgment, Justice Faji sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment which is the minimum custodian sentence for such offense as stipulated in Section 3 of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004.
Justice Faji held that the fake drugs which lacked the major anti-malaria and anti-bacteria components have serious detrimental effects on persons as well as serious environmental impacts on the society.
He wondered how many Nigerians would have been affected by the action of Osita if he had not be apprehended.
“A graduate of Economics should be looking at ways of growing our economy and not increasing the population of people at the hospitals, mortuaries and cement arises. This is an abuse of the privilege of education,” Justice Faji held.