The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday sentenced a 43-year-old man, Chibuko Chiokwe, to five years in prison over importation and sale of fake drugs.

Chiokwe, a business man resident at No. 5, Laniyo Idi-oro Mushin Lagos, was charged by the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on six counts bordering on drug counterfeiting.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Jude Dagat, held that drug counterfeiting constitutes a serious menace to the society.

Dagat said the court had studied material evidence along with the addresses of counsel to the parties, adding that the prosecution had diligently argued the matter.

Dagat also held that the court had taken into account the fact the defendant was a first-time offender.

“With these in mind, the court hereby sentence the defendant to five years in prison each on counts one and two and to 18 months on count five. The sentences are to run concurrently,” he said.

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The concurrent sentence means that the convict will serve the highest of the various terms of the imprisonment.

The judge acquitted the convict of counts three, four and six.

In the charge, the convict was said to have imported fake CSP with Codeine Cough Syrup which he sold and caused to be distributed to members of the public.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 1, 1(a), 3, and 3(1) (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drug and unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap C34, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

Chiokwe was arraigned in January 2016, but pleaded not guilty to the charges, while trial commenced in February of this same year.

The prosecution opened its case and called six witnesses including a laboratory scientist, the Investigating Police officer, the van driver who was intercepted with the products as well as NAFDAC Regulatory Officer.