A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday admitted in evidence a newspaper report that no child died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for ingesting the controversial "My Pikin" teething mixture.
The report, admitted in evidence by Justice Okechukwu Okeke, was credited to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Akin Osibogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the manufacturer of the drug, Kola Okunlola, is being prosecuted for negligence in the production of the drug which allegedly claimed the lives of some children.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) arraigned Okunola on a six-count charge in March 2008.
Okunlola’s company -- Barewa Pharmaceutical Ltd. -- and two of his employees -- Adeyemo Abiodun and Egbele Eromosele – are joined in the suit as defendants.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the defence counsel, Osaro Eghobamien(SAN), told the court that he had a certified true copy of a newspaper report that Osibogun said that no child died in LUTH after ingesting the medicine.
He said that the newspaper report was obtained from the National Library.
The defence counsel made the submission while cross examining the first prosecution witness, Mrs Hauwa Keri.
"I wish to tender this as exhibit before the court," he prayed.
Prosecution counsel, Mr Kazeem Aliyu, did not object to the admittance of the newspaper report as an exhibit.
During the cross examination, Keri told the court that some samples of the deadly mixture was retrieved from LUTH.
Keri is the Director of Examination and Inspections of NAFDAC.
She testified that she was informed by the Chief Pharmacist of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, that some children died after taking the drug.
``I then informed the then Director-General of the agency, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who then directed that a team of investigators be set up and dispatched to ABUTH, LUTH and the University College Hospital, Ibadan,’’ she said.
Keri reiterated that investigations revealed that all the children who took the drug at the hospitals had the same symptoms of renal failure.
The court consequently admitted the newspaper report as exhibit and adjourned the case till May 15 for evidence for the second prosecution witness.