Nigeria

NAFDAC arraigns trader over ‘importation of fake seasonings, others’

NAFDAC

Nnabueze Chibuike, a 41-year-old businessman, was arraigned on two counts of alleged possession and importation of large quantities of Mivina Chicken seasonings before a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State, on Wednesday.

Suit No. FHC/B/195C/2022, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Complainant and Nnabueze Chibuike as Defendant, came up for the first hearing.

Justice S. M. Shuaibu, the presiding judge, read the charges to the accused after he was brought before the court. Despite this, he faced two counts of charges, neither of which he admitted to.

The charges read: “That you, Nnabueze Chibuike, male, adult, 41-year-old of No 20 Arondizugu street Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, on or about the 11th day of November 2022, at your factory at No 22, Nekpen-Nekpen, Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, was found in possession of unwholesome processed food to wit: Mivina chicken seasoning and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act, Cap. C34, LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 3 of the same Act

“That you, Nnabueze Chibuike, male, adult, 41-year-old of No 20 Arondizugu Street Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, on or about the 11th day of November 2022, at your factory, at No 22, Nekpen-Nekpen, Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, did import unregistered processed food to wit: Mivina Chicken seasoning, from Cotonou, Benin Republic and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Food, Drugs and Related Products (Registration, E.T.C) Act, Cap. F33. LFN.2004 and punishable under Section 6 of the same Act.”

The defendant’s attorney, Razak O. Isenalumhe, Esq., asked the judge to release his client on bail because he accepted NAFDAC’s invitation without being detained.

According to Okoli Chinyere, an attorney for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the accused should remain in NAFDAC custody until the next hearing.

The bail hearing, however, was scheduled for December 6, 2022, per Justice Shaibu’s ruling.

In an interview with journalists, Mrs Esther Itua, head of NAFDAC in Benin City, explained that the investigation had led them from Lagos to Onitsha and that they had ultimately traced the primary source back to Edo State.

“In the warehouse, our team discovered not only Mivina chicken species but other expired products also found there, including packaging materials and a production area was also discovered,” she asserted.

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