By Lukman Olabiyi
Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has remanded a businessman, Benson Maduka in prison for the importation and sale of unregistered cosmetic products.
The judge ordered that Maduka be kept in prison after he was arraigned by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on two-count charge bordering on importing and selling fake cosmetic products.
According to NAFDAC prosecutor, Umar Shamaki, the accused person imported unregistered EWV Serum Lotion and EWV Q7 Gold Whitenizer contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Food, Drug and Related Product Act and punishable under Section 6 (a) of the same Act.
Maduka, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justices Anka has adjourned the case till June 14 for the hearing of the bail application and the commencement of trial.
In a related development, Justice Anka also convicted and imposed a fine of N150, 000 on a trader, Izuchukwu Chikelu, for the sale of fake cosmetic products.
The judge gave the verdict after Chikelu pleaded guilty to a five-count charge of possession and sale of fake cosmetic products.
The convict was docked by NAFDAC.
Shamaki had told the court that the convict committed the offence on December 20, 2016 in Lagos, and the offence contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Food, Drug and Related Product Act and punishable under Section 6 (a) of the same Act.
The convict, who was first arraigned on May 8, has pleaded guilty to the charge, a development which made the judge to adjourn the case till Thursday for review of fact and sentencing.
At the resumed hearing, the prosecutor tendered the seized cosmetic products and two extrajudicial statement made by the convict to the agency.
The lawyer also urged the court to convict and send Chikelu to prison to send a clear message to serve as deterrent to other people.
However, the convict’s counsel, D. M. Ayama urged the court to temper justice with mercy because his client has learned from the experience.
Ayama also appealed to the judge to impose fine on his client instead of a custodian sentence since he did not waste the time of the court and tax payer’s money by prolonging the trial.
In his judgment, Justice Anka noted the conducts of the convict in court and the fact that the sections of the law under which he was docked gave the court the discretion of imposing a fine.
He, therefore, ordered the convict to pay N50,000 on counts one and two, N50,000 on counts three and four and another N50, 000 on count five.
The court also ordered that all the seized products be forfeited to the Federal Government.