The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has secured the conviction of one Friday Ogbodo, a manufacturer of fake Emzor paracetamol.
The agency’s Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, made this known in a statement on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Akintola said Ogbode was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine by a Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra.
He recalled that Ogbodo was arrested by the Investigation and Enforcement officers of NAFDAC in his residence at 18, Abagana Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra.
Akintola said that Ogbodo was arrested, where he used to falsified Maldox (Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine) a brand of anti-malaria tablet manufactured by a registered Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company and was recovered from him.
According to him, the operatives of the agency acted on intelligence information, swooped on the convict in his residence in Onitsha and apprehended him.
He said that the convict confessed that he used to cut Emzor Paracetamol tables and repackaged them as Maldox (Sulfadoxine & Pyrimethamine) and supplied the same to dealers in falsified Medical Products at the Head bridge market, Onitsha.
Akintola quoted the convict as saying he had been in the business of adulterating and falsifying medicines for more than a year and making huge returns from it.
He said that the convict was charged to court following the overwhelming evidence NAFDAC had and the case was recorded as No: FHC/AWK/C/57/2021- between FRN V. OGBODO FRIDAY.
Akintola said that on Jan. 26, he was arraigned at the court before Justice H.A. Nganjiwa on a two-count charge bordering on possession of Fake Maldox (Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine) and packaging of Emzor paracetamol in a manner that is misleading.
He said that after the convict pleaded guilty to the offences, the prosecution reviewed the facts and he convicted and sentenced him to five years in prison on count 1 and two years in prison on count 2 without an option of fine.
He said that the Judge condemned the action of the convict with dismay, saying many people could have died from ingestion of the fake maldox.
Akintola quoted the Judge as emphasizing on the need for the court to send the right message to other merchants of death who are still in the dangerous line of the business.
He said that the NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, while reacting to the crime commended the judiciary for rising to the occasion when it was needed.
Adeyeye said the agency would not rest on its oars until all who are still in the dangerous business of falsifying medicines to make money at the expense of the lives of fellow Nigerians are brought to book or abandon.
The director-general, however, vowed that other similar cases in court would be pursued to a logical conclusion by NAFDAC with a view to safeguarding the lives of the citizenry.
She admonished members of the public to always assist NAFDAC in its quest to rid the nation of fake drugs and other unwholesome food products by providing useful information that would lead to the arrest of those who perpetrate the crime.
“I urge you and I also encourage you that when you see something, say something”
“This is the only way we can collectively fight and win the battle against these merchants of death, who profiteer in circulating falsified and substandard medicines, at the detriment of the wellbeing of their fellow human beings,”.