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‘Sweet codeine’: Police Arrest Former Emzor Pharmaceuticals Employee



Emzor Pharmaceuticals’ former employee Chukwunonye Madubuike who was implicated in a BBC investigation into the illegal sale of addictive drugs, has been arrested.

He was reportedly arrested in the border town of Idiroko in Ogun state, while heading to Cotonou in neighbouring town in Benin Republic.

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

Madubuike, who worked as 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, said he put his life at risk when he exposed 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 unauthorized persons”.

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

It is highly addictive and, taken in excess, can have a devastating impact on the mind and body.

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