Justice Okechukwu Okeke of a Federal High Court in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Friday jailed two producers of My Pikin teething syrup after he found them guilty of producing the syrup said to be adulterated.
The two men, Abiodun Adeyemo, who is the production manager, and Ebele Austine Eromosele, the quality assurance manager, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each on count three and another seven years on count four out of the six-count charge slammed on them.
The judge also ordered that the pharmaceutical company itself, Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited and all its assets should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
In the course of delivering the judgement, there was a mild drama as the first convict, Adeyemo Abiodun, fainted in the dock when the verdict of guilt was pronounced by the court. The judge had to call in the federal medical doctor of the court to come and attend to him.
It was after his health was stabilised that the judge continued with his judgement.
Sometime in 2009, the two convicts and the company alongside the owner of the company, Gbadegesin Okunlola, were arraigned before the court on a six-count criminal charge of conspiracy to produce an adulterated drug, My Pikin baby teething mixture.
Gbadegesin Okunlola’s name was struck out of the charge when it was reported that the man had died. Consequently, the charge was amended.
In the new six-count amended charge, Adeyemo Abiodun, Ebele Austine Eromosele, Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited of 1-5, Olugbo Close, Shasha road, Akowonjo, Lagos were re-arraigned before the court in the new charge.
The prosecutor, Matias Abutu alleged that the two convicts and the pharmaceutical company on or about October 2008, manufactured an adulterated drug to wit, ‘My Pikin’ baby teething mixture which was sold to Rota Pharmaceutical of 34, Balogun Road, Agege, Lagos, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 18 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act cap M17 laws of the federation of Nigeria.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor called seven witnesses while the defence counsel Osaro Edbobamien led the convicts who testified for themselves.