The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded a businessman, Ibegbu Anayo, who was charged with producing and distributing adulterated Total and Mobil automobile engine lubricants.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) arraigned him before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on a 12-count charge of producing the substandard engine oil after rebranding them.
The judge ordered his remand in police custody pending the hearing of his bail application.
SON said Anayo and others now at large, on July 15, 2020, at Mammy Market, Navy Town, Ojo, “did indulge in the production of adulterated/substandard Total and Mobil engine oil lubricants for public consumption”.
The products, SON said, did not comply with the mandatory industrial standards for lubricants, an offence punishable under Section 26(2) of the SON Act, 2015.
The prosecution said he also failed to comply with SON’s Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for locally manufactured products, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 26(2) of the SON Act.
The prosecution said Anayo also “did engage in the distribution of adulterated/substandard engine oil of Total, Mobil, Naris Gold brand and other lubricants without lawful authority or licence”.
SON said the defendant “did deal in” the products and “did adulterate” petroleum products to wit: engine oil of various brands “which are not of the quality, nature and efficacy expected of the products”.
In Count 7, the prosecution said Anayo offered to sell the substandard products to unsuspecting customers.
Count 8 alleges that Anayo affixed false labels on kegs of various sizes and unbranded cartons and claimed they were genuine Total and Mobil engine oil, which was “calculated to deceive unsuspecting consumers that the products are genuine Total or Mobil products”.
The alleged offence is contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Merchandise Marks Act of 2004 and punishable under Section 3(3)(a) and (c).
Count 9 reads: “That you Ibegbu Anayo and others now at large on or about 15th July 2020 at Mammy Market, Navy town, Ojo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did apply false trade descriptions of ‘Total and Mobil’ on various kegs of different sizes and unbranded cartons knowing them to be false, with the intent that they may be used or acted upon as genuine”.
Prosecuting counsel Yusuf Lawan, a Senior State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice, said the alleged offence is contrary to Section 465 of the Criminal Code Act of 2004 and punishable under Section 467.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa, however, ordered that Anayo be remanded in police custody pending the hearing of his bail application.
He adjourned until Tuesday for hearing.