The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday re-arraigned a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, over alleged fraud of laundering N1.23 billion on four counts before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The re-arraignment became necessary, since the former INEC chairman was arraigned during judiciary vacation before a vacation judge, professor Chuka Obiozor, as the case file was later re-assigned to another judge, Nicholas Oweibo.
When the charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty, thereafter his counsel, Mr A. A. Usman, in oral application urged the court to allow him continue on his former bail he was granted when he was first arraigned before the court.
Usman further told the court that since Iwu was granted bail, he has kept to the terms of the bail.
The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo did not raise any objection.
However, Usman drew the attention of the court to an application filed before the court by the defendant challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
The presiding Judge, Oweibo while acceding to the request of the defence counsel adjourned till 25th November, 2019 for trial to commence.
In the charges, the anti-graft agency alleged that Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to the 2015 general elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the then incumbent President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Iwu between, December 2014 and March 27, 2015, was alleged to have aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bio-resources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled at the United Bank for Africa., the money he ought to have reasonably known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
It was further stated that the offence committed by the ex-INEC chairman was contrary to sections 18(a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering ((Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
When the charges were read to him then, he pleaded not guilty.
Thereafter, based on bail argument canvassed for by his lawyer, Hamed Raji and opposed by EFCC prosecutor, Oyedepo, the presiding vacation judge, Chuka Obiozor admitted him to bail in the sum of N1 billion with two sureties in like sum.
The first surety must be resident in Lagos State and must also show evidence of ownership of property in Lagos State and furnish the court with evidence of tax payment of three years, among others.
NAFDAC says it will reduce substandard and falsified drugs to five per cent prevalence by 2025
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it will reduce substandard and falsified medicines to five per cent prevalence by 2025 in the country.
The Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Adeyeye said that one of the strategic plans of NAFDAC was to reduce substandard and falsified medicines to “not more than five per cent prevalence” in Nigeria by the year 2025.
She said that “the last data we have on the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in Nigeria is 16.7 per cent.”
She, however, added that the 16.7 per cent prevalence was 14 years ago, noting that it was time the agency did another survey to determine the present percentage of prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in the country.
Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC had been proactive and vigilant toward curbing substandard and falsified medicines in the country, stressing that the move became necessary to safeguard the health of the populace.
She said that the agency would make it mandatory to identify and test the active pharmaceutical ingredient in all imported and locally manufactured drugs in the country from January 2020.
This, according to her, is to ensure compliance with international standards.
The director-general noted that besides safeguarding the health of the people, the regulatory control would also build confidence in Nigerians about the medicines available in the country.
Adeyeye, who said that substandard drugs could come through importation, explained that NAFDAC started enforcing regulations and control of active pharmaceutical ingredients of all drugs imported or manufactured locally in 2019.
He added that the agency had been requesting for the drug master file that had the history of processing and safety of the drugs.
She said that in 2018, the agency started a country-wide inspection of 165 companies, using the international standard to ascertain Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance.
Adeyeye added that part of the GMP was the use of appropriate manufacturing equipment and facilities by manufacturers to ensure adequate control.
She said that measures were also put in place for the production of quality products.
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