Businessman Sentenced To 11 Years in Prison For Importing Banned Codeine

A Lagos-based businessman, Kenneth Chibuko Chiokwe, has been convicted and sentenced to 11 years and six months imprisonment, without option of fine, by a Federal High Court, Lagos, over unlawful importation of a cough syrup with codeine into the country.

The court presided over by Justice Jude Dagat, convicted and sentenced the importer on Tuesday, after finding him guilty of of three counts charge of fake drug importation: being in possession of fake drug: and importation of unregistered drug, levelled against him by the National Administration of Foods and Drugs Control Agency (NAFDAC).

The convicted importer was sentenced to five years imprisonment each, in respect of possession of fake drug and and importation of same, while he was jailed for 18 months, in respect of importation of unregistered drug.

The convict, whose store, is located at 5, Laniyo street, Idi-oro, Mushin, Lagos, was arraigned before the court by NAFDAC, on a six-court charge fake drug importation: bordering on being in possession of fake drug: selling of fake drug: distribution of fake drug: importation of unregistered drug and selling of same.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Umar Shamaki, are contrary to 1(a): 1(1) and 1 and punishable under sections 3(1)(a) and 6(1)(a) of the Counterfeiting and Fake Drug and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap. C34 LFN 2004.

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The convict had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During the trial of the case, the prosecution had called four witnesses and tendered large volume of cough syrup known as CSP which contained the banned codeine.

The prosecutor, Shamaki had also told the court that the convicted importer was intercepted on January 11, 2016, at Church street, Idumota, Lagos, by the NAFDAC’s operatives, when he was about supplying his customers at Idumota and it’s environs the cough syrup which contained banned codeine, which he imported into Nigeria from Republic of Benin.

Delivering judgement in the case, Justice Jude Dagat pronounced the importer guilty of count one, two and four, while acquitted him of count three, five and six.

Consequently, Justice Dagat sentenced him to five years imprisonment in respect of possession of fake drug and and importation of same, while he was sentenced 18 months in respect of importation of unregistered drug, totaling 11 and half years imprisonment, without an option of fine, and starting from Tuesday.

Justice Dagat however ordered that the jail term shall run concurrently.

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