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FG Set to Ban “Date Rape” Drug Rohypnol – Drug used to Sedate Cynthia Osokogu before she was Murdered



The sad murder of Cynthia Osokogu, a 24 year-old post-graduate student of Nasarawa State University in Lagos some weeks ago by her Facebook friends seems to have yielded some positive changes. The Federal Government is set to ban the sale of Rohypnol in Nigeria, the drug used to sedate her at a hotel in Festac, Lagos some moments before she was molested and later killed.

According to the testimony of her killers, they had obtained the drug across the counter at a local pharmacy. Rohypnol is popularly known as the ‘date rape’  or ‘date molestation’ drug because of its ability to cause unconsciousness and memory blackouts.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chuckwu, said yesterday after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting that the decision was informed by the need to curb the disastrous use of the drug.

Although the ban has not yet been made official, the Minister said it was being considered. “There is a different body that decides which drugs can be used in Nigeria; this agency is not the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“The law that empowers that body allows it to decides which drugs should be banned or used in Nigeria.

“Right now as the minister, I have directed the appropriate bodies, which are the Nigerian Essential Drugs List and National Drug Formulary Committee, which is established by a separate law, to look into whether or not we should ban the drug.”

Rohypnol, otherwise known clinically as Flunitrazepam is a powerful sedative that is illegal in the United States but is used elsewhere for hypnosis and anaesthesia.

Although her death brings back sad memories, the ban is welcome and might serve as a deterrent to other people who plan on committing such crimes using the drug.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. cathy

    October 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    They should please

  2. Lulu

    October 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Hmmmnnn……Even if there is a law to ban it, Nigerians dont follow the law, am sure some people will still get their hands on it for selfish reasons! Lawless Goverment!!

  3. anonymous

    October 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    they should ban the sale of certain drugs without prescription. PERIOD!!! And this Kate Henshaw’s pic by side is beginning to hunt me… lol

    • Chattyzee

      October 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      huh? Where is Kate Henshaw? D picture is that of the girl, Cynthia, that was murdered. (or if it’s a joke, I don’t get it…)

    • sparkles

      October 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      i think “anonymous’ means the ad for “Nigeria’s got talent” by the side.

  4. Naveah

    October 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    No be Naija, we operate on the premise of medicine after death. We don’t fix issues until something drastic happens before someone wakes up.

  5. O

    October 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Igbayii l’aro yin! Shio!

  6. watever

    October 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    If you ask me,this decision to ban the drug is shallow minded and I don’t think the rampant cases of Rape that is every where is caused by this drug….infact there are hundred of rape cases,only cythnia incident prove that this drug is been used…I think there might be other sedative drugs,aside this very one,and in most cases rape is done with the concious of the the person been raped(like tie of hands,mouth,at gunpoint)etc what should be done is the strict enactment of law on Rapist…..just my opinion anyway

  7. nems

    October 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Its crazy what you can buy over the couter these days in Nig! I agree to banning certaining over the counter drugs and regulating what drugs people sell in Pharmarcies as there are so much fake drugs.

  8. K

    October 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Are you joking? How is this drug not already illegal. How the he’ll can it be bought over the counter. How is this even a conversation. Pls take down this post, it embarrassing to find out that it’s legal and available in Nigeria and that it’s only just being considered as a drugnto be banned! Shame on us and shame shame shame on the minister and her ministry.

  9. Slim

    October 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Kate Henshaw?!?!?!#confused face#

  10. goldfinch

    October 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    it’s about time!!!

  11. Anonymous

    October 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I agree that this drug should not be sold OTC (over the counter). This calls into question the ethics of the pharmacist that sold the drug. As a pharmacist, one is aware of the effects and indicated use for such a drug. Why would a pharmacist sell this drug to a lay person? This drug is only for use as a sedative for extreme/chronic insomnia. Pharmacists must hold the profession to the highest degree of ethics. However, the challenge is that “chemists” some with less than a high school education can open up a shop and sell prescription medications. The entire thing is quite sad. There needs to be reform overall. In other parts of the world Pharmacist are the most trusted professionals, second only to clergy but I wouldn’t trust a pharmacist in Nigeria.

  12. Sandi

    October 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Sorry but most countries operate like that. Infact most organizations operate like that. Sometimes we do not know the dangers of something until a tragedy happens. It is unfortunate bu that is how life happens. There is no set to-do book set out for humanity for each and every premise that happens in life. It is unfortunate, but that is how life is.
    We live and we learn. It would be a problem if nothing is done. But when measures are taken to prevent a tragedy from happening, then we should applaud it and do our own part and follow the measure or law. Thank you.

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