A businessman, Alhaji Modibbo Akilu, a resident of Jega, in Kebbi State has been arraigned before a Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Simon Amobeda, sitting in Birnin-Kebbi, for alleged importation of 560 bags of substandard sugar from Brazil into the country.
The defendant was arrested by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on October 28, 2017 for importing the product through Kebbi State borders with a neighbouring country, while the truck loaded with the product was apprehended at the Birnin-Kebbi main market.
Amobeda was arraigned on four counts charges bothering on violations of SON Act. sections 31(2),26(2),1(18,ii)and section 243(1) of criminal code Act cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
While arraigning the defendant, on Wednesday, in the case number FHC/KB/CR/63/277, the Federal Government prosecutors led by Barr. Justice Oguadimma, told the court that the defendant’s actions;, that is failure, refusal and neglect to comply with the regulations of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, contradicts section 31(2) of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria Act 2015.
He further informed the Court that importing and concerned in the importation of products that does not comply with mandatory Standard, contradicts section 26(2) of the SON Act.,2015.
Oguadimma argued that dealing in manufactured or processed products which are not the quality, substance,nature or efficacy expected of the product,contradicts section 1(18 ii) of the miscellaneous offences Act. Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He added that the defendant also violated section 243(1) of criminal code Act.Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of very, 2004:which prohibited possession with intent to sell as food or drink any article which has been rendered or has become noxious to be in a state unfit for food or drink.
While the charges were read to the defendant in local language,he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Counsel to the defendant, Ibrahim Maiahu, however, urged the court to grant his client bail because the offences are bailable.
The Federal Government prosecutor, who did not objected to the defendant bail noted that he had been under administrative bail since he was arrested stressed that the most important thing ” is to make himself available whenever his attention is needed for investigation “.
While ruling on the case, Justice Amobeda granted the defendant bail with N500,000, with two sureties that most be a Level 8 civil servants in Kebbi and Federal Governments Civil services, Kebbi State resident within the jurisdiction of the Court with two passports each.
Justice Amobeda added that the sureties must signed a memorandum of understanding with the Registrar of the Court and adjourned the case till December 7,2017 for commencement of trial.