A man has landed himself in prison for carrying out criminal act in his business activities by making counterfeit products.
According to Today ng, Justice Jude Dagat of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, sentenced a businessman, Ebenezer Arimiwem, to a concurrent jail term of 15 months imprisonment, over products counterfeiting.
The convict, who resides at No. 4, Fakanbi Str, in Egbeda, Lagos, was charged by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administrators and Control (NAFDAC), on a seven-count charge bordering on Manufacturing of Cosmetics Products without registration.
The court held that it was satisfied that the prosecution had been able to establish its case against the convict beyond reasonable doubts, adding that the confessional statement of the convict also lends credence to the case of prosecution.
According to the judge, the contention by the accused who testified as Dw1, that his confessional statement was obtained under duress and dictated to him by prosecution, was only an afterthought.
The judge held that in his confessional statement the convict admitted that he engaged in production of the cosmetics, and supplied same to women from Togo.
The court held that his objection to the confessional statement could not hold sway as the appropriate time to raise such objection was at the point of tendering it before the court, and not after it had been admitted in evidence by the court.
Dagat, consequently, sentenced the convict to 15 months imprisonment on count one, 15 months on count two, 15 months on count three, 15 months on count four, 15 months on count five, 10 months on count six and 10 months on count seven.
The court held that all terms are without option of fine.
The court added that the jail terms will run concurrently, adding that the time spent by the convict in custody before he was granted bail, will also be taken into consideration in serving the terms of imprisonment.
By the concurrent sentence, the convict is expected to serve all terms together, which means he is to spend 15 months in prison.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the products listed in the charge includes: Unidentified White Cream Nice Skin Maxitone Lotion, Perfect White Lightening Beauty Lotion, High Quality Luxury Milk, and unlabelled cosmetics products.
The convict was first arraigned before Justice Mohammed Yunusa on Oct. 20, 2014 and he had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
He was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sums.
Trial had commenced before Yunusa, but the case was re-assigned to Justice Dagat, after Yunusa was transferred out of the Lagos division of the Court.
The convict was then re-arraigned before Dagat on April 9, 2016 and the trial began afresh.
During trial, the prosecutor, Mr Umar Shamaki, called a total of six witnesses PW 1-Pw 6 and tendered 17 exhibits, including a video clip showing the convict mixing lotion contents in his production site.
On his part, the convict testified as sole witness and tendered a copy of his company’s certificate of incorporation, as exhibit.
On Nov. 27, 2018, counsel adopted written addresses before the court while the court adjourned the case for judgment.
The offences for which the convict is charged contravenes the provisions of Sections 1, 5, and 5(a), of the Food, Drugs and Related Products Act, Cap F33 Laws of the Federation 2204.
It also contravenes the provisions of Sections 20 (1)(a) of the Cosmetics Products Regulation 2005.
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