A Federal High Court, sitting in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday sentenced a 58-year old man, Isaac Uti and his son, Jonathan (29) for dealing on ethanol, popularly known as Ogogoro.
The court says the duo were producing and storing the local gin reportedly considered to be hazardous to human health, under insanitary condition.
While the elderly Uti was jailed for 15 years and 6 months, his son, Jonathan got 11 years and six months without option of fine for the same offences.
Justice A.O. Faji, while delivering the judgment which are to run concurrently also fined Uti N250,000.00 for carrying out the reported ilicit business.
The court ruled that the jail terms begin on December 4, 2017.
The defendants were convicted on 3 out of the 5 count charges preferred against them by the prosecution counsel.
Justice Faji convicted the defendants on counts 1, 2, and 5 but discharged and acquitted them on count 3 for lack of evidence, just as he struck out count 4 as it amounted to duplicity.
Delivering judgment, Justice Faji sentenced the 2 defendant (Isaac, being the owner of the business) to seven years each in counts 1 and 2, and 18 months jail term with a fine of N250,000.00 on count 5.
The 5 defendant (Jonathan) bagged five years, each, imprisonment on counts 1 and 2, and 18 months jail term without fine on count 5.
Justice Faji while handing down the punishment held that the offenses constituted serious health hazards the human populace, adding that the “defendants stand to gain financially from the venture at the grave risk of consumers”.
Prosecution counsel, Adumen Jombo Washington hailed the judgment, saying that it will serve as deterrent to others envying the successes of the defendants, and with the intention of going into the same business.
BigPen Online recalls that Jonathan Uti (1st defendant) and Isaac Uti (2nd defendant) were first arraigned in charge number FHC/ASB/36c/2015 by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on a five-count charge bothering on possession, production, sale, manufacture and storage of the product under insanitary condition.