Lawyers and social critics on Friday commended the Federal Government’s move to ban the sale of the ‘date rape drug’, allegedly used to kill Miss Cynthia Osokogu.
They gave the commendation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
The Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja resolved to ban the sale of rophynol drug.
The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that the government planned to ban the drug because of the need to curb its disastrous use.
He said that the Act No. 43 of 1989, which established the National Drug Formulary and Essential Drugs List, empowers it to prohibit importation and manufacturing of any drug not on the list.
A Lagos based lawyer and founding member of the African in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG), Edwin Nebolisa, said the decision appropriate.
He said that the ban was informed by the ugly trend of the abuse of the drug by the youths, and stressed the need to check the excesses of youths, which was becoming worrisome.
He also said that pharmacy stores and hospitals should be discouraged from dispensing such drugs because it had become a means of facilitating incidence of rape.
A facilitator with the Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP), Noel Brown, also aligned with the decision of the government and advocated the ban of other sedative drugs.
Brown described as alarming made in which youths take to drugs in quest for adventure.
“Rape, by its nature, constituted an act of gender violence. Employing the use of sedatives is simply devilish and must be treated with the highest level of disdain,’’ he said.
He advised parents to watch the types of company their wards keep, stressing that evil acts pollute good manners.
Spurgeon Ataene, a lawyer, said that it was rather inconceivable that teenage boys had formed the habit of luring girls with the use of sedative.
“They do this to weaken their victim and get away with the heinous acts. Eventually, some of these drugs end up claiming the lives of their victims,’’ he said.
He, therefore, called for full implementation of the ban, adding that government should decisively deal with offenders who go against the policy.
NAN recalls that in August, four accused persons, Echezona Nwabufo 33, Ejike Olisaeloka, 23, Orji Osita, 32, and Maduakor Chukwunonso, 25, were paraded by the police in Lagos for the murder of Osokogu.
They told the police, how they met, drugged and strangled their victim, in order to steal her money.
The accused, currently in prison custody, were arraigned before a Yaba Magistrates’ court in September for the offence.