One Mr. Shodipo Olujimi and Gold Channel International were yesterday, convicted to six months imprisonment without an option of fine by an Osogbo Magistrate Court for presenting forged laboratory test results and a forged bank teller for the certification of table water product in Osogbo.
Delivering judgement in the case filed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) against the 1st and 2nd defendants, Chief Magistrate Modupe Awodele convicted the 1st defendant to 6months imprisonment without option of fine and banned the 2nd defendant, Gold Channels International (aka Genesis Pure Water) from producing for the period of 6months.
The charge sheet read, “That you Shodipo Olujimi ‘M’ and Gold Channels International both of Km 2 Ede Road Ile Ife on or about the 1st day of July 2014 at Osogbo, within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit felony to wit: forge laboratory test results (analysis/report) allegedly issued by PAM BEE Consult on laboratory test purportedly conducted on Genesis Table Water (Sachet), produced by you, which results you knew to be fake and presented same to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, with intent that it will be acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 467 of the Criminal Law 34 Vol. II, Laws of Osun State 2003.
“That you Shodipo Olujimi ‘M’ and Gold Channels International both of Km 2 Ede Road Ile Ife on or about the 1st day of July 2014 at Osogbo, within the jurisdiction of this court, did forge and present to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, a forged Zenith Bank teller No. 1557310 which you knew to be fake with intent that it will be acted upon as genuine for the payment twenty five thousand naira (N25, 000.00) penalty for your company’s failure to submit genuine laboratory test reports on your pure water product, and you received Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s cash payment receipt No. 211681 in the said amount and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 467 of the Criminal Law 34 Vol. II, Laws of Osun State 2003.
SON prosecuting counsel, Adeleke Olofindare, told the court that the organisation confirmed after diligent investigation that the laboratory test report submitted by the convicts were forged. It also confirmed forgery of the Zenith Bank deposit teller number 1557310 when it could not find the said amount in its account, following which the Zenith Bank also confirmed the teller as fake.
Counsel to the convicts R.A. Ugwu pleaded with the court to be lenient with his client as a first offender and breadwinner of his family who holds a Masters Degree.
The magistrate, Modupe Awodele, said she was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the laboratory test result and bank deposit slip presented to SON were forged by the defendant. She lamented that many people might have used their hard earned money to purchase the untreated water, which might have resulted to ailments or death in some cases.
SON state coordinator in Osun, Jerome Umoru, said the conviction would serve as a deterrent to those who engage in unwholesome practices, stressing that the organisation would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that all producers and manufacturers in Nigeria as well as Importers comply with relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS).
Commenting on the judgement, SON prosecuting Counsel Adeleke Olofindare stated, “Though the wheel of justice might turn slowly, it surely has caught up with the convicts. The director general of SON, Osita Aboloma, has severally reiterated the organisation’s commitment to combating standards infractions in whatever form. This judgement is a clear message to all those involved in the production, importation and distribution of substandard, injurious and life-endangering products that the law will eventually catch up with them.”
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