Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday remanded in police custody, a businessman, Ifeanyi Okoli, who allegedly imported 120,000 brands of substandard electric cables in 13 containers into Nigeria.
Justice Oweibo ordered that Okoli be kept behind bars after he was arraigned before him by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on a three-count charge of conspiracy and importation of substandard goods.
The defendant, who was docked alongside his company, Natures Breeze Limited allegedly committed the offence on or about October 31, 2019, at the warehouse of Natures Breeze Limited, 34, of No 5, Igbeyin Adun Street, Shibiri, Lagos.
Prosecution counsel, Babatunde Alajogun told the court that the defendants conspired to import “about 120,000 different brands of substandard electric cables in 13 containers which did not comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Mandatory Industrial Standard before importation”.
The offences, Alajogun maintained violated Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, 2004.
Count One of the three-count charge reads: “That you Ifeanyi Okoli, 34 years, of No. 5, Igbeyin adun Street, Shibiri, and Nature’s Breeze of No 5, Igbeyin adun Street shibiri on or about 31st day of October, 2019, while at a warehouse at No 5 Igbeyin adun Street, Shibiri, did conspire to ‘commit a felony to wit: imported about 120,000 different brands of substandard electric cables in 13 containers which did not comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Mandatory Industrial Standard before importation and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 516, 26(2)(b)(iii) and (3)(a) of the Criminal Code Act CAP C39 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same Section.”
Okoli, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defendant then urged the court to grant him a short adjournment so that he can bring his bail application.
He further urged the court to remand him in police custody, pending a date to hear his bail application.
Alajogun did not oppose the defendant’s request.
Justice Oweibo granted the defendant’s prayer and directed him to bring his bail application before February 27.
The judge adjourned till February 28 for the hearing of the application.