A father and his son, who used ethanol to produce local gin, popularly known as ogogoro/kai-kai, in Ogume community, Delta State have been sentenced to 14 and 11 years imprisonment respectively.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) arrested the victims in 2015 and took them to court.
Justice O. A. Faji of the Federal High Court, Asaba sentenced Isaac Uti, 58 and his son, Jonathan Uti, 28 to 14 and 11 years imprisonment for the production of processed ethanol (kai-kai/ogogoro) under insanitary condition and its effect on human health.
They were found guilty of three-count charge, out of five-count charge against them.
They included possession of unwholesome processed food, which contravenes Section 1 of Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed Food (Miscellaneous provisions) Act. CAP C34 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 3(a) of the same act.
The offence also contravenes 1(3) of the Food and Drug Act. CAP F32 LFN and punishable under 17(1) of the same act.
The second defendant, Isaac Uti was sentenced to seven years imprisonment each on count one and two without any option of fine while he got 18 months jail term and a fine of N250,000 on the fifth count charge.
Jonathan Uti was sentenced to five years imprisonment each on count one and two while he got 18 months sentence on count five without any option of fine.
All the jail terms are to run concurrently.
Justice Faji in ruling said , he considered the debilitating effect such unwholesome practice might have had on those consuming the product.
“This act must have impaired people’s health and putting their life at great risk,” he stated.
The NAFDAC counsel, Adumen Jumbo Washington, hailed the judgment attributing it to diligent prosecution.
He said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous producers who were out to undermine the health of unsuspecting Nigerians.
The father and son was arrested in September 2015 when NAFDAC Enforcement operatives led by the Director Enforcement Directorate, Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor with detachment of policemen swooped on them while preparing and selling the illicit product in Ogume community in Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta state.
About 72 drums of ethanol were discovered in their premises including cans of formalin and acetic acid suspected to be part of the illicit production which were eventually destroyed.