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Consumer Safety: NAFDAC busts fake wines syndicate, urges closure of Cemetery Market in Aba

*The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says its operatives have arrested about 10 persons, urging the Abia State Government on temporary closure of Cemetery Market, in Aba, for sanitation of the business location regarded as ‘the host for adulteration of the products’ in the South-East region

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As part of its efforts at safeguarding the health of Nigerians and well-being of consumers, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the agency’s operatives have uncovered fakers of assorted wines and beverages in Aba, in Abia State, South-East Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports Martins Iluyomade, Director of NAFDAC, South-East Zone, who disclosed this development to reports at a media briefing, said that. NAFDAC operatives had arrested about 10 persons so far, and clamoured for the temporary closure of Cemetery Market, in Aba, a location regarded as the host for adulteration of the products, for proper sanitisation.

Iluyomade said the health regulatory agency acted on information supplied by concerned citizens, on the activities of the fakers in the market.

The Director noted that the raid, which commenced last Monday, continued till Tuesday of the week, as NAFDAC intensified efforts to ridding the market in particular and the entire country of fake and adulterated products harmful to well-being of Nigerian consumers.

The NAFDAC Director of South-East Zone also stated: “What’s happening here is worse than the activities of ‘Boko Haram’. We saw how many shops were converted to manufacturing centres for the faking of wines, and expensive drinks, and the revalidation of dates for expired products.”

He said: “We have the cooperation of the state government and so far, we have discovered 240 shops, used for this illegal manufacturing of fake consumables.

“Four long vehicles cannot remove what we seized from this market, which is an indication of the volume of fake products produced in this market.”

The Director further noted: “No wonder we have all manner of health issues in the country and the funny thing is that we use our money to buy this evil.

“Our DG (Director-General) is not leaving any stone unturned in getting rid of fake products in our markets.

“I will suggest that this market be shut down for now until we sanitise this market for a while.

“We’ve written to the appropriate authorities to that effect and we think it is the right thing to do.”

Youth leaders recommend capital punishment for fakers, counterfeiters

In reaction to the fakers’ economic sabotage to the region’s economy, Goodluck Ibem, President General of Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) condemned the development.

Ibem described the situation in the market as man’s inhumanity to man, stressing that should not be treated with kid gloves.

He urged the National Assembly (NASS), in Abuja, FCT, to possibly amend the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) to ensure that at least capital punishment is inserted, as a legal consequence for producing and marketing fake products to consumers in the West African country.

Ibem equally urged Governor Alex Otti of Abia State to cooperate with NAFDAC in ensuring that Cemetery Market, in Aba, is sanitised and bad eggs fished out and prosecuted, while genuine business people are encouraged to do their lawful businesses.

It was learnt Charles Chinekezi, Chairman of Aba Unit of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), also described the development as an act of terrorism.

Chinekezi reportedly suggested that those behind the act should be properly dealt with by the agency.

The CLO chief, however, charged officials of NAFDAC to show seriousness in the fight against fake, substandard and expired products in Nigeria.

According to him, the attitude of the agency will determine if such dastardly activities of fakers will continue or stop.

Similar raids and arrests have taken place before with the perpetrators returning to business within some time, said Chinekezi.[do_widget id=heateor_sss_sharing-2

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