Court remands dealers charged with inscribing fake SON mark on adulterated engine oil

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered that two businessmen accused of dealing in adulterated engine oil products be remanded in Ikoyi prison.

The judge, Chuka Obiozor, issued the remand order after the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) arraigned the two men on five counts, including fraudulent inscription of fake SON mark and certification number on the alleged substandard products.

SON alleged that the defendants – Vanger Luper and Bright Ogbuagu – inscribed the fake SON mark and certification number on forged labels of Total, Mobil, Forte Oil and MMASCO to deceive unsuspecting buyers.

PREMIUM TIMES obtained a copy of the charges and got details of Wednesday’s proceedings from a member of the court audience.

The court document seen by our reporter indicates that the prosecution alleged in the first count that the defendants “did fraudulently inscribe SON mark of quality, certification number and logo on the adulterated/substandard engine oil to deceive the innocent consumers” thereby committing an offence punishable under section 26(a) and (b) of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, 2015.”

It also alleged that Messrs Luper and Ogbuagu, both residents of Ojo, Lagos, conspired to commit the alleged offence at the United Allied Spare Parts Dealers Association (UASPDA), Trade Fair Complex, on the Lagos Badagry Expressway, on December 23, 2020.

Quantity of alleged adulterated engine oil

SON, through its prosecuting counsel, Adeleke Olofindare, alleged that the defendants adulterated 29 cartons of AMMASCO engine oil, 24 cartons Mobil Oil, 18 cartons of Forte Oil, two cartons of Total Oil, two cartons of A-Z Oil (one litre each) and one carton of 4-litre Forte Oil.

They were also said to have had in their possession 5X25 litres of unbranded engine oil and 18X25 litres of unbranded empty jerry cans.

SON also alleged that the said products did not have the requisite Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certification.

It stated that the dealing in the substandard lubricants was punishable under Section 1(18 a ) (i) and (ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004.

Defendants plead not guilty, remanded

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr Olofindare, who said he had five witnesses to prove the case of the prosecution, urged the court to remand the defendants in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Centre till the conclusion of trial.

But the defence counsel, S. T. Akinwunmi, said he intended to file a bail application.

The judge ordered the defendants to be remanded in the Ikoyi correctional centre and fixed February 1 for hearing of defendants’ bail application.

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