Court jails medicine dealer for 7 years in prison for falsifying Emzor Paracetamol

Posted by News Express | 10 February 2022 | 615 times

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The on-going war against the circulation of substandard and falsified medicines in Nigeria by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) received a boost last Tuesday when a Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, sentenced a middle-aged man, Ogbodo Friday, to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine for endangering lives of innocent consumers through circulation of fake drugs.

Ogbodo was arrested by the Investigation and Enforcement officers of NAFDAC in his residence at 18, Abagana street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, where falsified Maldox (Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine) a brand of anti-malaria tablet manufactured by a registered Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company, was recovered from him.

Operatives of the Agency, acting on intelligence,   swooped on the convict’s residence in Onitsha. When apprehended, Ogbodo confessed that he cut Emzor Paracetamol tables and repackaged them as Maldox (Sulfadoxine & Pyrimethamine) and supplied the same to undisclosed dealers in falsified Medical Products at the Head Bridge Market, Onitsha.

In a statement signed by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, in Abuja on Wednesday, the convict claimed that he had been in the business of adulterating and falsifying medicines for more than a year, making huge returns.

Following the overwhelming evidence, the Agency charged him to court in Suit No: FHC/AWK/C/57/2021- between FRN V. OGBODO FRIDAY. 

On 26th January 2022, he was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Awka, 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.
After Ogbodo Friday pleaded guilty to the offence, the Prosecution reviewed the facts thereafter and the Court convicted the Defendant on the two-count charge and sentenced him to five years in prison on count 1 and two years in prison on count 2 without an option of fine.
In his judgment, Justice Nganjiwa condemned the action of the convict, noting with dismay that many people could have died from ingestion of the fake Maldox. He emphasized the need for the Court to send the right message to other merchants of death who are still in that dangerous line of business.

Reacting to the court ruling, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, in palpable elation, commended the judiciary for rising to the occasion when it was needed. She said the Agency would not rest on its oars until those 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 trade for clean jobs.

Prof. Adeyeye however, vowed that other similar cases in court would be pursued to a logical conclusion by her Agency 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 criminal act of falsifying medicines to make money.

 “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 to the detriment of the wellbeing of their fellow human beings,” she said.

Source: News Express

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