Five persons have been arraigned in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital for allegedly dealing in adulterated rice in the state. The accused appeared before Justice Anulika Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo on 17 count charges and pleaded not guilty. The case with charge number FHC/UY/70C/19 was brought against the accused by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC). According to the charges, the five accused were prosecuted for advertising and displayed for sale defective, unsafe and re-bagged rice thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap C25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The Court granted all the accused persons bail in the sum of N5 million each and their sureties must have landed property within the jurisdiction of Court.
The Judge, however, said that the accused must be remanded in prison custody until the bail conditions were met. Speaking with newsmen after the court sitting, the Lead Counsel to the Commission, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, said that the Commission on about June 22, 2018 performed operation in Uyo where the accused arrested for re-bagging smuggled contaminated rice for consumers consumption. “Almost a year and a half ago, we performed an operation here in Uyo of people who were re-bagging smuggled contaminated rice for consumers consumption. Between then and now, we have concluded investigation. We have been struggling for quite a while to get the judiciary process moving. They have resisted arrest repeatedly but finally, we have been able to get them to come into court,” he said.