My Pikin: Court insists on speedy trial of producers

My Pikin teething mixture:

By Innocent Anaba
 LAGOS — A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, insisted on the speedy trial of producers of the alleged killer teething mixture, My Pikin, Muri Okunola, Adeyemo Abiodun and Egbele Eromosele and their company, Barewa Pharmaceuticals Limited.

The teething mixture allegedly caused the death of no fewer than 100 children in 2008 and grievous injury to many others.

Trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, who gave the assurance at the trial of the matter, said he wanted a speedy conclusion of the matter, because of the public interest and the number of lives allegedly lost to the teething mixture.

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is prosecuting the producers of My Pikin.

NAFDAC called its witness at the last hearing of the matter, Mr Hauwa Keri, the agency’s Director of Establishment and Inspection, who told the  court that the error which contaminated the teething mixture might have emanated from a worker, who holds no more than a secondary school certificate but charged with the responsibility of purchasing raw materials for the company (Barewa Pharmaceuticals).

She had also told the court  that Barewa Pharmaceuticals flouted a number of mandatory prescriptions legally stipulated for drug productions.

She continued her evidence and was cross-examined by the defence, yesterday.

Adjourning the matter till May 14 to 18 for continuation of trial, Justice Okeke vowed to speedily dispose of the matter.

The accused persons where in March 2009 arraigned on a six-count charge.

They were alleged to have manufactured an adulterated mixture with the intention to cause death or grievous bodily harm to members of the public in October 2008.

They were further alleged to have conspired among themselves to distribute and sell the adulterated mixture to Roca Pharmacy of 34, Balogun Road, Agege, Lagos with the intention to cause death or grievous bodily harm to members of the public.
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