The Federal High Court, Port Harcourt has sentenced one Sunday Okeke to 11 years in imprisonment for producing adulterated and fake NAFDAC regulated alcoholic beverages in contravention of section 1 of Drugs and Regulated Products (Registration etc) Act of 1993 as amended and punishable under section 6 (1) of the same Act.
Okeke, who was residing in Rumumasi, Port Harcourt was arrested and taken to NAFDAC office in December 2003 by Air Force personnel for producing fake and adulterated alcoholic beverages (Bacchus Tonic Wine, King Edward Centurion and Glen Garry Gold Blended Scotch) at Air Force Base Mamy market, Port Harcourt.
He produced/manufactured, labeled and packaged unwholesome drinks: Bacchus Tonic Wine, King Edward Centurion and Glen Garry Gold Blended Scotch without batch numbers.
The Federal High court, presided over by Justice R. M. Aikawa found him guilty of all the four count charges proffered against him by the Prosecuting Counsel; Mohammed Bello Esq. Head, Legal Division (NAFDAC).
The offence also contravenes section 1 (a) of Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1999 and punishable under section 3 of the same Act, etc.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Aikawa said that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the accused actually committed the offence as averred by the prosecution and convicted him accordingly on all the four count charges after referring to relevant sections of the law.
The accused counsel; Chinwike Izuehie, in his allocutus, pleaded with the Court to be lenient with his client being a first offender and having stopped the illegal business.
Justice Aikawa however sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment (which will run concurrently) on all the four count charges or Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000.00) fine (5 years each on count 2 & 3 or an option of fine of N250,000 each and six months each on count 1 and 4 or an option of fine of N50,000 each).
NAFDAC Head of Legal Division, Mohammed Bello praised the court for the conviction attributing it to diligent prosecution adding that NAFDAC management had sent bills to National Assembly to make the penalties on counterfeiting more stringent.