Pass-Off: Woman Repackages Imported Substandard Sugar as Dangote Sugar
A case of product pass-off was instituted against a 72-year-old businesswoman, Esther Akinsanya, on Tuesday before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged repackaging of substandard Brazilian sugar as granulated Dangote sugar .
The accused, Mrs Akinsanya was charged, alongside her company, Esther Olufumilayo Nig. Ltd, before Justice Ayokunle Faji.
She was charged on a four-count charge bordering on false representation, importation and distribution of unregistered products. She however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation.
After her plea, the prosecutor, Mr Shamaki Umar urged the court to give a date for trial.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel, while moving a bail application for the accused, urged the court to grant her bail on liberal terms.
He said the accused was diabetic and also had some health challenges, adding that she had no criminal records.
But the prosecutor opposed the bail application on the grounds that the accused had interfered with a prosecution witness by telling him to stay away from court.
Umar added that the accused will continue to interfere with witnesses if granted bail.
But Justice Faji chided the defense counsel for not attaching medical records or a doctor’s report in support of his application in spite of the fact that the accused had been charged since the court was on vacation.
Consequently, he adjourned the case until Nov. 13 for the defense to get all the medical details and remanded the accused in prison pending the determination of her bail.
The accused, according to the prosecution, allegedly committed the offence on August 2 at No. 1, Tailor St., Iddo, Lagos.
The accused was indicated to have imported various brands of granulated Brazilian Sugar namely: Aqucar Crystal Sugar, Aqucar Special Crystal Sugar, and Usina Belavista Sugar.
In addition, it said the products were repackaged as Dangote Sugar in a manner likely to create a wrong impression as to its value.
The products were not fortified with Vitamin A contrary to the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Food Fortification with Vitamin A Regulation Act 2004.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 1(1) of the Food, Drugs and Related Products Registration Act, Laws of the Federation 2004.