Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A 41-year-old trader, Nnabueze Chibuike, was yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State on two court charges of alleged possession and importation of large quantities of Mivina Chicken seasonings.
The case, which came up for first hearing is between the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Complainant) and Nnabueze Chibuike, as the Defendant is contained in suit No: FHC/B/195C/2022.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the charges against him were read were read before Justice S.M. Shuaibu.
The charges brought before the accused reads: “That you Nnabueze Chibuike, Male, Adult, 41 years 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 Honorable 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 years 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 Honorable 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.
Counsel to the Defendant, Razak .O. Isenalumhe, pleaded with the presiding Judge to grant client bail on the ground that he responded to the invitation by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) without being arrested, while the Lawyer to NAFDAC, Okoli Chinyere said the accused should be kept in their custody till the next hearing.
However, Justice Shaibu in his ruling fixed 6th of December 2022 to hear the bail application.
Head of NAFDAC, Benin, Mrs Esther Itua, in an interview, said the investigation started from Lagos to Onitsha where it later discovered that the main source was coming from Edo where the investigation and enforcement team came from Lagos.
According to her, “In the warehouse, our team discovered not only Mivina chicken species but other expired products were also found there including packaging materials and production area was also discovered.”