The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, on Monday, confirmed the arrest of popular Baban Aisha herbal medicine manufacturer, Alhaji Salisu Sani, for operating with an expired licence and running illegal promotion of the company’s products in Kaduna State.
The agency also said it had commenced a crackdown on illegal herbal manufacturers and vendors to control the random use of illicit drugs.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said the agency had a duty to regulate the manufacture, distribution, advertisement and use of drugs, foods and chemicals to protect Nigerians.
“The man manufacturing Baban Aisha herbal medicine, Alhaji Salisu Sani, has been arrested and is now in custody. Again, we cannot divorce ourselves from these products. We may not use them because we are informed. What about the fate of other Nigerians who use them?” she said
.Explaining the event that led to the arrest of Sani, Adeyeye said the agency received concerns on the safety of Sacra Herbs oral liquid, popularly called Baban Aisha, following an investigative report.
The professor of Pharmaceutics noted that further investigation revealed that the Kaduna manufacturer had been churning out unapproved herbal concoctions long after his licence expired.
She said, “The agency received an application from Sacra Multi-Links Ltd, Layin Alhaji Hamza Mai Bread, Tafa Kagarko LGA in Kaduna State for the registration of its product, Sacra Herbs oral liquid.
“Following regulatory protocols, we granted listing approval with NAFDAC registration number A7-2590L for the Sacra Herbs oral liquid for management of pile and associated pains. The notification of the registration of the product was granted on September 6, 2018, valid till September 12, 2019.
“The company on August 12, 2020, applied for renewal of its licence. But following regulatory audit of the company’s production facility, compliance directives were issued to them for non-conformers observed in the facility for which it was expected to correct.”
Adeyeye said the company, however, did not correct the lapses observed, following which the product registration licence was not renewed.
She said the ‘Sacra herb’, which its licence expired in 2019, was originally approved for the management of pile and associated pains but the agency discovered that Sani’s company went beyond the prescription by adding that the company’s product could treat waist pains, typhoid, ulcer, pile and toilet infection.
Following an outrage on social media over the company’s unethical activities, the agency’s investigation and enforcement team carried out surveillance that led to the sealing of the factory and the arrest of two staff members.
She said, “The following day, Sacra Multi Links owner, Salisu Sani, reported to our office in Kaduna. When his vehicle was searched, the following herbal drugs were evacuated from the vehicle: Sacra Herbs oral liquid and two additional unregistered herbal preparations namely Baban Aisha manpower & delay (aphrodisiac) and others. All the products found with the managing director and others found in his company were sent to the NAFDAC laboratory for analysis.
“We have commenced a nationwide mop-up of the Sacra Herbs in circulation. We have also intensified crackdown on all illegal manufacturers and distributors of herbal preparation and other unregistered preparations, to bring perpetrators to book and minimise the usage of the substance.”