Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court in Lagos has scheduled October 11 as the trial date for three traders accused of importing counterfeit pharmaceutical products into the country. The traders, Bernard Chinweuba, Valentine Duru Ndukwe, and Duru Valentine Chinwike, along with the firm Vanchris Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited, face a two-count charge brought by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).


The defendants are alleged to have imported fake drugs, including Diclofenac Tablets BP 50mg (Diclosa 50), Coldtime Anti-cold Tablets, Sonidrex Tablets 50mg, and Collcap (Chlorpheniramine Maleate Capsules BP 4mg). They were apprehended at their stores in Idumota, Lagos in September 2022.


During the previous court session, the prosecutor, Bartholomew Simeon, expressed readiness to proceed with the trial and presented Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Adams Kole Ajony as a witness. However, the defence counsel, I. C. Anima, informed the court that one of the other defendants’ lawyers couldn’t attend due to being outside the court’s jurisdiction. Anima also mentioned ongoing discussions for a potential out-of-court settlement.


In response, the prosecutor noted that he was not informed about the lawyer’s absence and clarified that in a criminal case like this, the proper term is “plea bargain” rather than “out-of-court settlement.” Considering the submissions, Justice Faji adjourned the matter to October 11, allowing the parties to conclude their discussions.