Nigerian Businessman Arraigned on Counterfeit Drug Charges

A Nigerian businessman was recently arraigned for allegedly importing counterfeit drugs into the country.

Paulinus Ejike Onuah is accused of importing counterfeit drugs into Nigeria, including fake versions of Lincocin Capsule, Ampiclox, Atesenate and Postinor, according to PM News. Onuah was arraigned by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in front of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Onuah pleaded not guilty to the three charges he faced and his attorney, Barrister Olawale Salu, urged the court to grant him bail as the businessman has friends of means in the area who could vouch for him.

The counterfeit drug trial is scheduled to begin on September 23.

Counterfeit drugs present many health risks and Nigeria has experienced their devastating effects firsthand many times. In 2008, a total of 84 Nigerian babies were killed when they were given a teething medicine that had an ingredient usually found in antifreeze, according to CNN.

NAFDAC and other Nigerian agencies have been working to crack down on the counterfeit drugs. One such anti-counterfeiting technology they employ is placing a number on drug packaging that consumers can text to the authorities to verify the medications authenticity.