Court Sentences Man To 15 Months Imprisonment For Producing Fake Cosmetics



Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


A Federal High Court, Lagos, today, convicted and sentenced a businessman, Ebenezer Arimiwen, to 15 months imprisonment without option of fine, for manufacturing fake cosmetics.

Justice Jude Dagat, convicted and sentenced the businessman after finding him guilty of all the seven counts charges leveled against him by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Agency (NAFDAC).

The convict, a resident of 6, Fakanbi Street, Egbeda, Lagos, was first arraigned before the court on October 20, 2014, on charges bordering on manufacturing of cosmetic products without approval, wrong labeling, distribution of unregistered cosmetic products and producing cosmetic without NAFADAC approval.

Some of the cosmetic products the convict was arrested with are: Unidentified White Cream, Nice Skin Maxitona Lotion, Perfect White Lightening Beauty Lotion, HQ High Quality Luxury Milk, Unidentified white Cream, Unidentified White Cream, 4 Unlabelled Cosmetic Product A Unlabelled Cosmetic Product, and Unidentified White Cream.

The offences according to the prosecutor are contrary to Section 1, 5(a) of the Food Drugs and Related Products (registration etc.) Act, Cap F33, LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 6 (1)(a), 17(1) of the same Act. And Section 1, 6 of the Cosmetic Products (Labelling) Regulation 2005 and punishable under Section 20 (1)(a) of the same Regulations

When the convict was first arraigned, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was admitted to bail in various terms.

During trial, the prosecutor, Mr. Umaru Shamaki, called six witnesses who include: Abdul Mumuni, Samusideen Babagana, James Dauda and others, who told the court how the convict was arrested with the fake cosmetic products.

The prosecutor also tendered several exhibits which include the convict’s confessional statements, laboratory text analysis of the products he was arrested with and others.

Delivering judgement in the charge today, Justice Dagat said: “the prosecution evidence that the defendant is producing the products is not challenged nor controverted.

“The whole evidence of the prosecution was corroborated by the convict in his confessional statements, confirming that he was producing the products without approval.

“The evidence of PW, PW2, PW3 and PW4, corroborated the convict’s statement for not registering the products. There is nothing to show that the products were registered with NAFDAC.

I am satisfied that the prosecution has been able to prove his case against the convict beyond reasonable doubt.” I hereby find you guilty of all the counts of the charge”. The judge said.

Upon pronouncing the defendant guilty of all the counts of the charge, his lawyer, Owode Balogun, in her alocutus, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing her client. She also told the court that the convict is a first timer offender without previous criminal record and that he is a widower with four children and aged father, who depends on him for survival.

Balogun plead with the court to impose the option of fine on the convict instead of sentencing him to prison.

Responding, the prosecutor told the court that though, the convict did not have previous criminal record, but the issue of being widower is not before the court.

He urged the court to impose the required penalty as prescribed by the law.

After listening to the submissions of the counsel, Justice Dagat said: “I have listened to the mercy plea of the counsel. But let me state here that fake and counterfeit drugs and cosmetic has now become epidemic which must not be encouraged. Consequently, the convict is hereby sentence to 15 months on count one, two, three, four and five and 10 months on count six and seven.

“The terms of the sentence are to run concurrently, while the time spent in detention be removed from the terms”.

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