Operatives of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) working with the police on Thursday detained Salisu Sani, an herbal medicine seller popularly known as Baba Aisha.
Baba Aisha was detained when he visited the Abuja office of the agency with his lawyer on Thursday.
His detention follows an investigation by DUBAWA and PREMIUM TIMES on the product sold to millions of Nigerians.
His detention was announced by NAFDAC’s Director of Investigation and Enforcement, Francis Ononiwu, during a Twitter space organised by these newspapers.
Mr Ononiwu stated that two other people were arrested when the agency’s Task Force Team raided the premises where the herbal concoction was being produced on Wednesday.
He explained that several products carrying fake or expired products were confiscated in the factory that was raided by operatives of the Investigative and Enforcement led by Umar Sulaiman.
Mr Ononiwu said that upon the arrival of Baba Aisha at the NAFDAC’s office, officials of the agency searched his vehicle and found several unregistered products.
The detention was confirmed by Dadi Nantim, the Special Assistant to the Director-General of the NAFDAC, Moji Adeyeye, a professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Product Evaluation.
“We collaborate with the police (to effect the arrest). We don’t have a detention facility,” he added.
The investigation, published on Saturday, June 10, shed light on the content, safety and regulatory framework guiding the production and sale of the herbal product many Nigerians consume.
After a five-month-long probe, DUBAWA and PREMIUM TIMES found that the product carries two invalid NAFDAC registration numbers and is a huge safety risk to users.
Extensive laboratory analysis also indicates that continuous consumption of the concoction could lead to acute kidney, lung and liver injuries.
The investigation placed NAFDAC in the spotlight as public members questioned how the producer got his initial registration done without meeting basic requirements, among other infractions.
The investigation also revealed that the herbal concoction is being produced in a residential building against the dictates of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) prescribed by NAFDAC.