PCN tribunal sits after 6 years, arraigns 3 pharmacists | Dailytrust

PCN tribunal sits after 6 years, arraigns 3 pharmacists

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)

The disciplinary tribunal of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), on Sunday, held a sitting, six years after the council held its last tribunal sitting.

Three pharmacists were arraigned before the tribunal on various charges of professional misconduct.

They range from allegations of fraud and not remitting amounts realized from the sale of drugs in their custody to the manufacturers or importers among others.

They are Success John Onaji, Chigozie Chimaobi Sunday and Chinedum Samuel Okwum.

Speaking during the inauguration and session of the disciplinary tribunal, the chairman of the governing council of PCN, Prof Ahmed Tijjani Mora, said there was no tribunal sitting before his appointment because of the absence of a governing board for the council.

He said following the inauguration of the governing council by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020, it approved the constitution of the membership of the disciplinary tribunal along with other standing and ad-hoc committees of the council.

However, he said, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which necessitated lockdowns for most of last year, the tribunal and other committees could not hold sittings as expected.

He said, “The tribunal can only meet to decide on cases referred to it by the investigating panel.

“The investigating panel was similarly reconstituted at the time with the tribunal.

“I am aware that the investigative panel had met at least twice from 2020 to date.

“It is based on the above and especially the fact that the 6th governing council was dissolved in 2015, which was six years ago, that it became incumbent to convene this first meeting to inaugurate the tribunal.

“For six years, the tribunal has not sat, which should not be so as the PCN cannot pretend not to have pharmacists practitioners who have deviated from the code of conduct and ethics of the profession.”

He said the petition on the three arraigned pharmacists is based on “defrauding their employers either by not remitting monies from sales of pharmaceutical products, or some going away with pharmaceutical products.

“Pharmacists that have fallen short of the code of ethics and the profession are actually arraigned to the investigative panel to answer questions emanating from petitions from their employers or other parties that are supposed to enjoy their services as pharmacists,” he added.

Mora said the PCN is not a toothless bulldog, adding that pharmacists who fall short of the code of ethics of the profession would be sanctioned.

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