Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 17 November 2017 | 1,459 times
An Onitsha-based businessman, Okey Joseph Okeke a.k.a Big Fish, has been arraigned at the Federal High Court Awka on three-count charges of importing and selling unwholesome processed foods, including Goya Extra Virgin Cooking Oil and Olivia Cooking Vegetable Oil, among others.
In a charge sheet number FHC/Awk/C/88/17 before Justice I.N. Oweibo, the Prosecuting Counsel on behalf of the Federal Government and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC alleged that the accused person, whose shop is located at No. L-D 2/5 Abuja Plaza Complex, Onitsha, on or about October 23, 2017 was caught selling unwholesome unprocessed food, among other items.
One of the charges reads: “Within the jurisdiction of the honourable court did sell unwholesome processed food to wit-Olivia vegetable cooking oil, Goya Extra Virgin cooking oil, King Brajole Deluxe whisky, Loko Bitters Alcoholic whisky and white Mischief Ultra Pure Vodka, thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of counterfeit and fake drugs and unwholesome processed food Act CAP C34 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 3 (a) of the same Act.”
The second charge against Okeke stated that he “at one time and place did sell food to writ, Olivia vegetable cooking oil, Goya extra Virgin cooking oil, King Brajole Deluxe whisky, Loko Bitters Alcoholic whisky and white Mischief Ultra Pure Vodka without registration and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) of food, Drugs and related products (Registration etc) Act Cap F.33 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 6 (1) (a) of the same Act.”
Count 3 of the charge noted that the suspect, “under the same date and place did import foods, to wit the above products without registration and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) of food, Drugs and Related products (Registration etc) Act Cap F. 33 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 6 (1) (a) of the same Act.”
The suspect pleaded not guilty and was granted bail to the tune of N500,000 but would remain in police custody pending the satisfaction of his bail conditions following his counsel’s motion on notice.
His counsel prayed the court for an order to admit the applicant on bail pending the trial of the matter.
In an interview with Counsel to the Federal Government of Nigeria and NAFDAC, Mr. Nnamdi Obi, he maintained that Ekulo International Limited is the only company with the original marketing right of Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Nigeria.
He said that NAFDAC is poised to fight on towards the eradication of fake and substandard products in the country no matter the individual involved.
While warning the public to beware of all unregistered products circulated in the market, he expressed worry over the increasing rate of importation and selling of substandard products in various markets in the country.
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