China sentences 6 to death - For shipping fake drugs to Nigeria
For shipping fake anti-malaria drugs to Nigeria, the Peoples Republic of China, has sentenced six of its nationals to death, the Director-General of the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has said.
The NAFDAC boss, therefore, canvassed for a life sentence for all drug peddlers in Nigeria, as was the case in China and other countries in Asia, adding that the agency was tightening the noose round drug traffickers as part of efforts to reposition the agency for more efficiency.
Dr. Orhii spoke at a five-day strategic planning retreat for NAFDAC staff in Kaduna, saying that while other countries like India and China were in the vanguard of waging war against drug traffickers, Nigeria, which had assumed the toga of a “dumping ground” for manufacturers of fake drugs was fighting the war with levity, due to weak legislation.
According to him, it is so paradoxical that Nigeria which is at the receiving end of fake drugs is so lenient in terms of law, adding that NAFDAC was planning to review the existing law in its quest to fight the war against drug trafficking in the country.
Already, he added, NAFDAC was in contact with some legal luminaries and human rights activists in order to review the law establishing the agency.
He said the law which had the blessing of the National Assembly once passed, would make drug trafficking a non-bailable offence, just as an offender risked going to jail for life.
“We are going to implement severe punishment like in India and China,” he said, adding that apart from the jail term, offenders, when caught would have their assets confiscated and proceeds from the sale of the assets would go to victims.”
“Those people in China are facing death penalty. The India parliament also passed a law for manufacturing of counterfeit drugs. It will be difficult for Nigerian drug traffickers to go to India. In China, it is even worst the counterfeiter will be facing death penalty,” he said.
“For the first time, we have achieved tremendous progress in our campaign against fake and counterfeit drugs and today, most of the culprits are being brought to justice.
Today, six people are facing cases on death penalty, while those people traced to India will also risk life jail sentence”.
Orhii further argued that it was time the government strengthened its own laws against the importation of counterfeit drugs, stressing that “it is paradoxical that Nigeria which is at the receiving end is lenient in terms of laws against fake and counterfeit drugs.”
He said NAFDAC would collaborate with India and China in the fight against drug trafficking in such a way that going into these countries to manufacture fake drugs or to import it into Nigeria would be very difficult.