A Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, presided over by Justice A. Abubakar, has sentenced four traders to six years in prison for dealing in fake drugs.
The convicts, Anayo Okoye, Ifeanyi Onuoha, Chukwudozie Eze and Okechukwu Nwafor, will serve 18 months each in prison.
They were found guilty of possessing and selling counterfeit and substandard drugs bearing forged trademarks.
Their lawyer, E. O. Ego, had earlier pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy considering the fact that the convicts were first time offenders and had families to cater for.
Delivering judgement, Justice Abubakar held that the accused should serve a prison term of 18 months each.
Abubakar ordered that the jail term should run concurrently since one of the convicts had already been in detention for about five years.
The prosecutor, Mr Nwokoro Emmanuel, who is a zonal legal officer, Federal Ministry of Justice, Enugu, hailed the judgment, describing it as a step in the right direction.
He said, “The judgment is a step in the right direction because that will send a warning signal to all those out there peddling fake drugs in the society. I do know that a lot of people have died as a result of fake drugs and this judgment will help in stopping that. We are there to ensure that people are safe in the society.
“To me, the judgment is okay. What is important is that it will serve as a deterrent to the public. It is aimed at stopping the people from indulging in the wrong acts.”
The convicts were initially arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos but the case was transferred to the Federal High Court in Awka.