Investigation And Enforcement Directorate

INTRODUCTION

The Investigation and Enforcement Directorate was established in 2001 to frontally deal with the incidence of Counterfeit Drugs, Unwholesome Foods, Unsafe Medical Devices and other NAFDAC Regulated Products. Prior to the inauguration of the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food, a statutory body established by the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs Act, and a unit in the Federal Ministry of Health and subsequently transferred to NAFDAC at inception in 1993, was saddled with the enormous responsibility of curtailing the menace of Fake and Counterfeit Drugs. The Federal Task Force is domiciled in the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate. The Director of the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate doubles as the Chairman of the Federal Task Force.

FUNCTIONS OF THE DIRECTORATE

The Directorate is the arm of NAFDAC, principally responsible for ensuring compliance with the Agency’s mandate on regulatory activities.

It also coordinates enforcement activities of all other Directorates, zonal and states offices of NAFDAC Nationwide. Being the Law Enforcement arm of the Agency, the Directorate is enjoined to comply with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 as stipulated in section 1 of the Enactment.

DIVISIONS AND UNITS OF THE DIRECTORATE

The Directorate is divided into six Divisions to enhance effectiveness and productivity. Each division is headed by a Deputy Director viz:

  • Foods Division
  • Pharmaceuticals Division
  • Cosmetics Division
  • Water and Drinks Division
  • Chemicals and Medical Devices Division
  • Intelligence Gathering and Analysis Division

Furthermore, the following units that are within the office of the Director to cover other areas of enforcement needs and activities:

  • Cybercrime and Miscellaneous Offence
  • Legal
  • PR
  • Admin
  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Drivers
  • The Directorate has a unit of Mobile Policemen attached to it for security during operations; two units of Investigative Police officers (IPO’s) for the Federal Task Force & Enforcement Police units comprising detectives from the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) to aid in carrying out investigations.
  • The Directorate coordinates and maintains the Agency’s warehouse where seized spurious and counterfeit Regulated Products are kept.
  • The Directorate has a system for profiling suspects and sureties.

 THE OFFICERS

The Investigation & Enforcement Directorate team consists of the following cadre of officers

  • Regulatory Officers (RO).
  • Legal Officers (LO).
  • Drivers.
  • Investigating Police Officers (IPOs).
  • Mobile Policemen.

 ACTIVITIES OF INVESTIGATION & ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE

The Directorate enforces the laws and regulations of the Agency by performing the following activities

  1. Collection of Information.
  2. Surveillance/Intelligence gathering.
  3. Inspections and raids.
  4. Interrogation
  5. Sampling and packaging samples for analysis and exhibits.
  6. Compilation of case file.
  7. Participation in pre-trial meetings.
  8. Giving evidence in Court.
  9. Destruction of spurious, expired, fake and unwholesome products.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Opson is an Interpol-Europol operation centered on fighting counterfeit food and beverages. OPSON VI Operation which took place simultaneously in Abuja and Lagos on 17th March 2017 was coordinated by Interpol and Federal Task Force. The total value of the products seized during the operation was approximately One Hundred Million Naira (₦100M≡$266, 666.67; at an exchange rate of 1USD to ₦385).
  • Operation PANGEA for drug products

Operation Pangea is the largest global Internet-based operation focusing on illicit websites selling fake or counterfeit medicines. Operation Pangea consists of coordinated actions by police, drug regulatory authorities (DRA), customs and private entities with a view to:

  1. Disrupting illicit online pharmacies;
  2. Intercepting illicit medical products in the postal system;
  3. Enhancing the prosecutions of suspects through long-term investigations; and
  4. Increasing public awareness of the problem of the sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines online via a media release and public awareness campaigns.

The Federal Task Force has participated in the operation

Operation HEERA

This is an initiative regarding the fight against pharmaceutical crime in western Africa. An officer and point of contact network is established which will share information in real time. Each country is expected to coordinate an operation yearly in a particular month to raid offenders against pharmaceutical crime depending on countries means.

The Federal Task Force participated in the 2017 operation, and will be participating in the one slated for 2018.

MAJOR INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES

  1. The Agency received intelligence report which led to the arrested of notorious importer and distributor of counterfeit international brands of pharmaceutical products in 2015. Products seized include Zinnat tablets 250mg (Cefuroxime axetil), Proviron tablets (Meserolone 25mg), Augmentin 625mg (Amoxicillin + Clavulanate), Clomid tablet (Clomiphene citrate), Glucophage 500mg tablet (Metformin), Casodex 50mg (Bicalutamide), Cytotec 200mcg (Misoprostol), Cataflam 50 (Diclofenac kal), Tegretol 200mg (Carbamazepine) amongst others. The street value of the products as at the time of arrest stood at USD55M (fifty-five million US Dollars). The matter was reported to WHO, Interpol and PSI. The Counterfeiters have been charged to court.
  2. The Directorate investigated a case of forgery of NAFDAC documents, impersonation and international fraud by Mr. Ndukwe Darlington Ukonu, Mr. Nwabugo Okoro, Miss Ohanaokwu Chinonyen and one Mr. Smart in Aba, Abia State. The matter has been transferred to EFCC and the commission has charged the case to court.
  3. The Directorate intercepted 820cartons of suspected fake and unregistered Really Extra (Paracetamol + Diclofenac Sodium) worth about twelve million, three hundred naira only (N12,300,000.00) in Lagos. The consignment was imported through the Apapa port, Lagos in a 1x40ft container (no.: CAXU 9174244) and trans-loaded into a trailer. The owner of the consignment, Mr. Valentine Duru, has been interrogated. Investigation is ongoing.
  4. The Directorate discovered and evacuated 331carton of various brands of Tramadol (225mg) worth about fifty-six million (N56,000,000.00) from a residential building in FESTAC Town, Lagos. The suspect has been interrogated and would be charged to court on completion of investigation.
  5. The Directorate discovered and evacuated 3,512ctns of fake and prohibited GR Golden Roc Black Mosquito repellent incense worth about twenty-one million naira (N21,000,000.00) from a warehouse in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.

CASES IN COURT

  1. Monday Okorie is being prosecuted at the Federal High Court, Lagos for sale and distribution of counterfeit medicines including Tramadol and prescription medicines.
  2. Chinonso Ndu has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos for importation, sale and distribution of counterfeit cosmetic i.e. Eva soap and Johnson’s baby products.
  3. Olayemi Lateef is being prosecuted at the Federal High Court, Lagos for manufacture, sale and advertisement of unregistered aphrodisiac. He is a recalcitrant offender.
  4. Nwadike Kingsley is being prosecuted at the Federal High Court, Awka for importation, sale and distribution of Counterfeit and banned Eva soap.
  5. Emmanuel David Ukwoka is being prosecuted for possession of fake drugs to wit: Super Royal 200mg (Tramadol 200mg) and XT Power 150mg. He has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
  6. Ezeanwu Ifeanyi is being prosecuted for possession of 1x40ft container of fake drugs including Tramadol Hydrochloride tab 225mg, Royal Tramadol 225mg tab, Ibamol 50mg, Heegra 150mg and Diarrhea capsule. He has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
  7. Okey Joseph Okeke is being prosecuted for sale of unwholesome processed food including Olivia Vegetable Cooking Oil, Goya Extra Virgin Cooking Oil, King Brajol Deluxe Whisky, Loko Bitters Alcoholic Whisky and White Mischief Ultra-Pure Vodka. He has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Akwa.
  8. The Directorate is investigating a case of counterfeiting of Archillin Codeine cough syrup by Mrs. Chika Nnaemeka Nwoye and Mr. Ojeani Nelson Ebuka. They have both been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos and the matter has been transferred to Federal High Court, Awka.
  9. The Directorate investigated Celestina Obi for the sale and distribution of imported Counterfeit Eva Complexion soap. He has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State.
  10. The Directorate also investigated Nwadike Kingsley for the sale and distribution of imported Counterfeit and banned Eva Complexion soap. He has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State.
  11. The Directorate is investigating Obumneme Okpala (aka Okanu) for the illegal importation, warehousing, sale and distribution of Counterfeit brands of various insecticides. The Counterfeiter has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
  12. Daniel Ezekwelu of Ojoto Village, Nnewi Anambra State was investigated for his involvement in illegal production of Water for Injection. The violator has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Awka.
  13. An informant reported a case of production and sale of fake Peak milk, Milo, Bournvita and other beverages in Aba, Abia state. Prior to our arrival, the information leaked and the suspects were at large. However, officers opened the place and removed some samples but couldn’t evacuate all the items because there was pandemonium and a mob attempted to attack our officers. The counterfeiter to wit: Prince Chinedu Okereke has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Umuahia.
  14. Nkiru Okoro of Ezedams Enterprises Nig. Ltd. was investigated for illegal production of counterfeit alcoholic beverages and obstruction of our officers. She has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos.