AWKA, Nigeria — The Anambra State government has announced a complete ban on the unregulated advertisement of herbal drugs across the state, colloquially referred to as ‘agbo’.
The directive, made public on Saturday, August 12, 2023, by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, emphasizes that advertisements for these herbal remedies must now obtain prior approval from the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Herbal Medicine and Pharmaceuticals before being showcased in any public space or media platform.
Herbal medicines, primarily derived from botanicals or plants, have been traditionally harnessed for their curative and preventive attributes.
Before this restriction, Anambra was often satirized for the ubiquitous advertising of such medicines, especially in motor parks and key locations across the state, a sight particularly familiar to rural dwellers.
However, recent health concerns have cast a shadow over these herbal products. There’s been a marked surge in the number of kidney failure cases in the region, a grim development many health professionals attribute to the unchecked and indiscriminate use of herbal concoctions.
With the association between herbal medicines and these alarming health issues becoming more evident, the state government’s intervention appears both timely and essential.
This bold step from the Anambra State government reflects a growing recognition of the need for stringent regulatory measures in the herbal medicine sector, ensuring that residents are shielded from potential harm and misinformation.
How herbal practitioners and the general populace will receive this decision remains to be seen.
11 Anambra LG Employee Union Members on Trial for Alleged Conspiracy and Forgery
Eleven members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, were arraigned on Thursday, July 20, 2023, in an Amawbia Chief Magistrates’ Court in Awka, on charges of conspiracy, impersonation, and forgery.
The defendants — Chidi Orakwue, Alagwu Odife, Kenechi Ezeibe, Chidi Nzekwe, Ifeanyi Nworah, Victormary Anuna, Ifeanyi Okam, Chukwunonso Okaka, Patrick Nwalutu, Ugochukwu Igbokwe, and Onyebuchi Nwankwo — stand accused of a six-count charge encompassing altering documents, forgery, impersonation, malicious damage of NULGE property, conspiracy, and instilling fear of physical injury and anxiety in the Union’s president.
Despite the charges, all the defendants pleaded not guilty.
According to the Police prosecutor, CSP Chuka Nwezi, the NULGE president in Anambra, Mr Chikwelu Anigwe, is under threat.
Nwezi claimed that the defendants continued issuing death threats to the president even while the case was under investigation.
He stated that these offenses contravene several sections of the Criminal Laws of Anambra, 1991, and Section 6(1) of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of the state, 2017.
Nwezi appealed to the court for an accelerated hearing and called for the remand of the defendants for peacekeeping.
However, the Defense Counsel, Mr Basil Aguigwo, pointed out that the charges were bailable offenses and that the court held jurisdiction to grant such bail.
Aguigwo assured the court that all defendants, being civil servants on grade levels 14 and 15, would honor court summons.
After considering the positions of both the prosecution and the defense, Chief Magistrate Nonyelum Anyaegbunam granted the defendants bail of N50,000 each, with two sureties.
She implored all parties to exhibit good behavior pending the resolution of the matter.
The case has been adjourned until September 12, 2023, for further hearing.