A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has sentenced a father and his son to 14 years and 11 years imprisonment, respectively for using ethanol to produce local gin, popularly called Ogogoro in Ogume community in the state.
The trial judge, Justice OA Faji convicted the duo, Isaac Uti, 58 and Jonathan Uti, 28, for possession/production of unwholesome processed food and storage of same; ethanol (kai-kai/ogogoro) under insanitary condition.
According to a statement issued in Port Harcourt by Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the South-South Zone of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Cyril Monye, the father and son were found guilty of three-count charge out of five count charge preferred against them of possession of unwholesome processed food.
Monye said the duo contravened section 1 of Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed Food (Miscellaneous provisions) Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 3(a) of the same act.
The statement reads in part, “They were found guilty of three-count charge out of five count charge preferred against them of possession of unwholesome processed food which contravenes section 1 of Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed Food (Miscellaneous provisions) Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 3(a) of the same act.
“The offence also contravenes 1(3) of the Food and Drug Act. CAP F32 LFN and punishable under 17(1) of the same act.
The second defendant, Isaac Uti was sentenced to seven years imprisonment each on count 1 and 2 without any option of fine while he got 18 months jail term and a fine of N250,000 on the 5th count charge.
“The first defendant, Jonathan Uti was sentenced to five years imprisonment each on count 1 and 2 while he got 18 months sentence on count 5 without any option of fine. All the jail terms are to run concurrently.
Justice Faji in passing the judgment said that he considered the debilitating effect such unwholesome practice might have had on those consuming the product, saying, this act must have impaired people’s health and putting their life at great risk.
“The NAFDAC counsel, Adumen Jumbo Washington hailed the judgment attributing it to diligent prosecution. He said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous producers who were out to undermine the health of unsuspecting Nigerians.”
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A Report Of The Judgement Of The 16 Divisions Of The Court Of Appeal In Nigeria