Herbalist fined 90k cedis, risks 15-year jail term for manufacturing unregistered COVID-19 drugs

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An Accra Circuit Court has convicted 47-year-old Herbalist, Abdallah Awal, for manufacturing unregistered and unapproved COVID-19 medicine.

Awal was sentenced to 7500 penalty units fine, equivalent to 90,000 cedis.

Abdallah Awal would serve a 15-year jail term if he defaulted in paying the fine.

This was after the Court Presided by Afia Owusua Appiah found him guilty of five charges after a full trial.

The Court held that the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Richard Amoah of the Legal and Prosecution Unit at the CID Headquarters proved the guilt of Abdellah Awal, the first of the two persons arraigned.

He was found guilty of manufacturing herbal medicinal products without authority, manufacturing unregistered herbal medicinal products, attempting to sell unregistered herbal medicinal products, manufacturing herbal medicine in unregistered premises and storage of herbal medicine in unregistered premises contrary to Section 130(1) and 142 of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851.

Meanwhile, the unemployed second accused, Bin Musah Abdallah, 27, was acquitted and discharged.

He was freed on two counts of abetment and an attempt to sell unregistered herbal medicinal products, contrary to section 18(1) of Act 20/60 and sections 118(1) and 129 of Public Health Act 2012, Act 851).

Brief facts

Per the brief facts of the case as narrated by Chief Inspector Amoah, the Complainant is the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

According to him, Abdallah Awal age 47 years, (1st Accused), is a herbalist residing at Kojo Ashong near Amasaman.

Bin Musah Abdallah, age 27, (2nd Accused), is unemployed and resides in Akim Oda’s old town.

Chief Amoah told the Court that, on June 2, 2020, at about 02:40 pm, a joint police and officials of the FDA acted on intelligence gathered that someone was manufacturing herbal medicinal products and selling to the unsuspecting public as a cure for COVID-19 at Kojo Ashong near Amasaman.

He said, the team proceeded to the area and arrested Awal and Bin Musah in a house with 181 bottles of herbal medicine in brown plastic bottles labelled ‘Dr. Abdallah herbal clinic COVID-CURE (1).’

Additionally, he said, 90 similar products labelled ‘Dr. Abdalah Herbal Clinic COVID-CURE (2),’ six small containers containing ointments labelled ‘Dr Abdallah herbal original ointment,’ 82 bottles of unlabeled brown plastic bottles of concoction, 72 unlabeled plain plastic bottles, 67 brown empty bottles, 102 labels of ‘Dr. Abdalah Herbal Clinic COVID-CURE (1)’, and 41 plastic bottle covers were retrieved from the accused persons room. ‘

Chief Inspector Amoah Richard told the Court that, Awal in his investigation caution statement, aimed ownership of all the exhibits and stated that Bin Musah was his errand boy who assisted him in advertising his product on social media, facebook, and market and also printed the labels of the products.

The Prosecutor said, during investigations, it was detected that ‘Al’ had not registered the products with the Food and Drugs Authority.

It was also revealed that the house Awal used for the production had not been registered.

Bin Musah, in his investigation caution statement, admitted that he assisted Awal in printing the labels and also advertised the products on social media.

“After investigations, accused persons were charged with the offences and put before this Honourable court as disclosed in the charge sheet,” he told the Court.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Murtala Inusah

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