Codeine lands mother of two in jail

The Federal High Court sitting in Calabar has convicted Ezea Isidore Chekwube
for illegal dealing in cough syrup with Codeine. Chekwube, aged 27, and a mother
of two children was charged by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA
for her involvement in sales of cough syrup with codeine and other psychotropic
substances using Gadd Pharmaceutical (Nigeria) Limited.
The presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo directed NDLEA Cross River
State Command to rehabilitate the convict for the six months of her jail term and
that in the event that she cannot be properly rehabilitated, she should be returned to
the Court for Custodial Sentence.
Justice Ekwo further ordered that Gadd Pharmaceutical (Nigeria) Limited with
registration number: RC No. 136725 be prohibited from carrying out the business
of pharmacy or any other related business. It was also ruled that Gadd
Pharmaceutical (Nigeria) limited be struck out from the Register of Companies
with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The Corporate Affairs Commission has
been ordered to take steps to wind-up the illegal pharmaceutical company.
On April 30, 2018, a team of NDLEA operatives attached to Cross River State
Command raided Gadd Pharmaceutical (Nigeria) Limited on No. 108 Ndidem
Usang Iso Road, Mariam Calabar based on information. During the operation, one
Ezea Isidore Chekwube was arrested with cartons containing cough syrup with
codeine weighing 22.20kg, 16 grams of pentazocine injection and tramadol tablets
of 250mg weighing 303grammes. Chekwube claimed she was a Pharmacist,
contrary to investigation which revealed that she read Accountancy.
The State Commander, NDLEA Cross River State Command, Anthonia Edeh
remarked that the judgment is a landmark achievement especially at a time that the
abuse of Tramadol and cough syrup with codeine has become a big threat to
society. “The judgment will serve as deterrent to those masquerading themselves
for what they are not, while it will help to sanitize drug distribution channel in the
country.” She also noted that it was a wake-up call on the Pharmaceutical Council
of Nigeria (PCN) to join hands with the Agency to clear the rot in the channel of
drug distribution in Nigeria.

She enjoined members of the National Association of Patent and Proprietary
Medicine Dealers (NAPMED) to desist from being involved in the distribution and
dispensing of controlled drugs but that they should only concentrate on over the
counter drugs.

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