BY CHIOMA OBINNA & CHIDI NKWOPARA
LAGOS- The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has in Ebonyi and Imo states nabbed five fake drug suspects, among whom are three Camerounians.
The three Camerounians were identified as Messrs Nana Patrice, Penda George and Andre Capoel.
The trio were arrested by officials of the agency for allegedly operating an illegal clinic at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ekemgbo, Ebonyi State, where they also dispensed and administered fake Chinese medicines on unsuspecting members of the public.
At a briefing in Lagos, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who spoke through his Director, Enforcement, Mr. Garuba Mac-Donald, said at the time of their arrest, six bags of assorted fake drugs, labelled in Chinese language, were confiscated from them.
Giving details on how the fake drug syndicate suspects were arrested, Orhii explained that a member of the syndicate, Andre Capoel, was arrested at a hotel where he operated an illegal clinic, and with a big bag of assorted fake drugs labelled in Chinese language.
He said the three suspects claimed to work for one Mr. Christian Gmipibio, a Camerounian citizen based in China, who sources the fake drugs from China and send to them to sell in Nigeria.
Orhii lamented that the practice of administering fake drugs on individuals had grave consequences on both the citizens and economy of the nation, adding that this practice had always led to death of individuals, therapeutic failure, liver or kidney damage.
In Owerri, two drug vendors were arrested and a huge quantity of fake and unregistered drugs impounded by operatives of the agency
Disclosing this to newsmen after a true scan survey in Owerri, Deputy Director, Port Inspection and Directorate, NAFDAC, Mrs. Abisola Adekoya, who led the operation, identified the suspects as Stanley Okere and Nnamdi Ekwerike.
She said: “Apart from selling some fake drugs, Stanley Okere, who is neither a registered pharmacist nor medical doctor, was nabbed while administering dextrose saline on a patient in his Gez Royal Pharmacy on MCC/Uratta Road, Owerri.”
She alleged that Ekwerike had in his shop fake Otrivin and Hepabonta drugs, which had no manufacturer’s name and address.