NDLEA: Pharmacists Convicted over Diversion of Ephedrine
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has secured the conviction of a pharmacist Geoffrey Ezeokwu and his assistant Moses Ajibo for unlawful diversion of ephedrine, a precursor chemical for the production of methamphetamine. They were sentenced to three years each to commence, immediately. This will be the Agency’s first conviction of a precursor chemical.
The case was tried at the Federal High Court, Lagos by Justice Salisu Saidu in Federal Republic of Nigeria Versus Moses Ajibo and Geoffrey Ezeukwu. They were arrested in June 2012 where 300 kilograms of Ephedrine was recovered while 200 kilograms of the precursor chemical was discovered to be missing. The consignment was meant for Marleyshree Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Sabongari, Kano but was kept in their warehouses in Lagos.
The duo was charged for diversion of both the missing 200 kilograms and the recovered 300 kilograms on a five count amended charge. The Agency called a total of ten witnesses and tendered several exhibits while the Defense called four witnesses including the Defendants who testified on their own behalf. Sunday Mbona Joseph, Assistant Commander General of Narcotics, ACGN, and NDLEA Director of Prosecution and Legal Services led the NDLEA prosecution team while the Defense was led by Damian Dodo (SAN) and Prof. Fabian (SAN).
After exchange and adoption of written addresses, Justice Saidu delivered the judgment, convicting and sentencing the two Defendants to three years each. The Pharmacist is the second Defendant Geoffrey Ezeukwu who was convicted for diversion of the recovered 300 kilograms while his Assistant Moses Ajibo was convicted for the missing 200 kilograms count two of the charge.
Jonah Achema, ACN
Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs