The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it 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.
He recalled that Ogbodo was arrested by NAFDAC at his residence at 18, Abagana Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra.
Akintola said Ogbodo was arrested, where he used counterfeit Maldox (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine), a brand of malaria tablets made by the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company, and was recovered.
According to him, the agency’s operatives acted on intelligence information, pounced on the convict at his residence in Onitsha and apprehended him.
He said the convict confessed that he used to cut up Emzor’s paracetamol tablets and repackage them as Maldox (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) and supply them to counterfeit medical product dealers in Head Bridge Market, Onitsha.
Akintola quoted the convict as saying that he had been in the drug adulteration and counterfeiting business for more than a year and had made huge profits from it.
Akintola said that on January 26 he was indicted in court before Judge HA Nganjiwa on a two-count charge bordering on the possession of Fake Maldox (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) and the packaging of Emzor paracetamol in a deceptive manner.
He said that after the convict pleaded guilty to the crimes, the prosecution reviewed the facts and convicted and sentenced him to five years in prison for count 1 and two years in prison for count 2 without the option of a fine.
He said the judge condemned the convict’s action with dismay, saying many people could have died from ingesting the fake maldox.
Akintola quoted the judge as emphasizing the need for the court to send the right message to other death merchants still in the dangerous line of business.
He said that the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, while reacting to the crime, praised the judiciary for rising to the occasion when necessary.
Adeyeye said the agency will not rest on its oars until all those still in the dangerous business of counterfeiting medicines to make money at the expense of the lives of other Nigerians are put on trial or abandoned.
The director general, however, promised that other similar cases in court would be brought to a logical conclusion with a view to safeguarding the lives of citizens.
He warned members of the public to always assist NAFDAC in its quest to rid the nation of fake drugs and other information about harmful food products that would lead to the arrest of those who perpetrate the crime.
“I exhort 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 profit from the circulation of counterfeit and poor-quality medicines, to the detriment of the well-being of their fellow men.”