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Court Orders Nigeria Breweries To Apologise Over Deceptive Low Sugar Label

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A High Court in Benin City, the Edo State capital, has ordered the Nigeria Breweries Plc, manufacturer of Amstel Malt drink, to apologise to its customers, especially one, Prof.  Ernest Izevbigie, for its wrongful inscription of “low sugar” on the product.

Justice Esohe Ikpomwen, the chief judge of Edo State, gave the order in suit filed by Izevbigie, a professor of Biochemistry, who accused the company of inscribing misleading information, “low sugar,” on the can/bottle of Amstel Malt.

The claimant had through his lawyer, Okonkwo Emmanuel, of Henry Idahagbon and Co (Trinity Chambers, said that a laboratory investigation revealed that the product contained more sugar than the company claimed in the inscription on the brand.

Izevbigie, a former vice chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, urged the court to order the company to tender a written apology to him as he had been injured by the deception.

Izevbigie also prayed the court to pronounce that the inscription on the product was misleading to the public.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ikponmwen, ordered the company to tender an unreserved apology to members of the public who might also had been lured by the “trade trick’’ of low sugar on the can/bottle.

The judge held that though evidence before the court showed that the sugar content of Amstel Malt was between the approved 10 per cent and 15 per cent of sugar by the regulatory body.

She, however, submitted that NB should have indicated that the sugar content contained in Amstel Malt was lower than other beverage non-alcoholic drinks rather than the “low sugar’’ inscription.

 

Ikponmwen held that while she might not grant the request suggesting that the information was deceitful, she noted that it was a trade trick competition taken too far by the NB.

 

The judge held that the claimant’s request urging the court to hold that Amstel Malt was a normal non-alcoholic drink and not low in sugar succeeds.

 

“The defendant is ordered to apologise to the claimant and other public consumers in Nigeria for making them to erroneously believe that Amstel Malt is low in sugar within 30 days from the date of this judgment,’’ the judge ruled.

 

 

 

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