A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has sentenced a 35-year-old Economics graduate, Osita Ely, to five years imprisonment without an option of fine for manufacturing fake drugs. Eli had been standing trial since October 2015 after he was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for the manufacturing, sale and distribution of fake drugs. The arrest was made at his residence in the Bonsacc area of Asaba after a tip-off, according to a statement by NAFDAC.
The agency said several cartons of fake drugs and production machines were recovered from his residence before he was handed over to the police for prosecution.
During his arraignment in October, Ely initially pleaded not guilty to a seven-count charge preferred against him, but later admitted guilt during court proceedings that he indulged in the drug manufacturing business for the sole purpose of making money.
He had also pleaded for leniency through his counsel, Mr. Emeka Orji. But the presiding judge, Justice Anthony Faji, found the accused guilty in all the counts, adding that in view of the evidence, circumstances and the admission of guilt to the charges, “it was clear that rather than helping to grow the economy of the country as a graduate of Economics, he decided to increase the population of the people in the hospital and the dead at the mortuary.”
Justice Faji, therefore, sentenced Ely to five years imprisonment without options of fine.
The lead prosecution counsel, Umar Shamaki, applauded the judgement, adding that the right message had been sent to other fake drug manufacturers that there was no safe haven for them to carry out their nefarious activities.