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Codeine Ban: Police Arrest Man On The Run



Police Arrests Sacked Emzor Staff Over Involvement In Codeine

Chukwunonye Madubuike, a former employee of Emzor Pharmaceuticals who was found to be connected to illegal sale of addictive drugs, has been arrested.

Imohimi Edgal, commissioner of police in Lagos state, told BBC that Madubuike was arrested in the border town of Idiroko in Ogun state.

He was on his way to Cotonou in neighbouring Benin Republic when he was arrested.

In a documentary titled ‘Sweet sweet codeine’, the BBC had revealed how some corrupt officials of big pharmaceutical companies, including Emzor, conspire with distributors to make codeine, a cough syrup, available in the open market .

Madubuike, who was a business development executive at Emzor, illegally sold 60 bottles of codeine syrup to the BBC team who posed as traders, at a hotel in Isolo, Lagos.

Olajuwon Soyinka, editor of BBC Pidgin, who was among the team which carried out the investigation, later told TheCable in an interview that he risked his life to expose the drug cartel.

After the film was aired, the pharmaceutical company sacked Madubuike while the federal government subsequently banned the production and importation of codeine in the country.

But Madubuike has been on the run since the documentary was released in May.

Edgal said Emzor had reported Madubuike on suspicion of having “knowingly supplied the controlled drugs to persons who were not supposed to have access to them contrary to Nigerian law”.

The police commissioner said Madubuike confessed that he “was only trying to meet his sales target”, adding that he should have carried out greater checks to verify the identity of the person he was dealing with and “regretted selling controlled substances to unauthorised persons”.

Codeine is a painkiller which is also capable of giving a euphoric feeling if consumed in large quantities.

Naija News reports that the Federal Ministry of Health had ordered the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations.


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