The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has arraigned a businessman, Ogbo Chidozie Tochukwu, at the Federal High Court, in Lagos, for allegedly attempting to break into a warehouse to steal seized substandard goods.
He was arraigned with his company, Majestics Tiles Limited, before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on a seven-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful entry and attempted stealing.
SON said the company’s warehouse was sealed by its officials, but that the defendant and others broke into it through a back door and attempted to remove the sub-standard goods.
They were charged along with Ochuehi Ikechukwu, Monday Adumekwe and George Anderson.
The prosecution said the defendants, whose office is on 125 Agege Motor Road Idiro, Mushin, on or about January 30, around 09am, broke into Magestics Tiles’ warehouse.
They did so allegedly with intent to commit a felony by unlocking the rear door so as not to damage the seal placed by SON at the inside-front door of the warehouse containing 115 cartons of soldering iron, four cartons of CCTV camera and some quantities of 35g of lead.
SON said it suspected the goods to be of sub-standard quality, adding that the defendants did not comply with the mandatory industrial standard before importing them.
The alleged offence of felony is contrary to Section 410 of the Criminal Code Act C39 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 413.
SON said the defendants “Did successfully break into the said warehouse” and “attempted to take and convert” the goods by loading them into their vehicle with registration no: FST 459 XP for onward delivery to their office at Plot 15 Christ Embassy Close, Ago Palace Road, Okota Lagos.
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The prosecution sad it was “with intent to permanently deprive the Standards Organisation of Nigeria from allowing the said sub-standard products from being circulated for consumption to the general public in Nigeria.”
The alleged offence contravenes Section 383(2)(b) and Section 508 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C39 LFN punishable under section 509.
The defendants pleaded not guilty and were each granted bail for N5 million with two sureties in like sum.
The judge directed that one of the sureties must be a public servant in either the Lagos State Government or the Federal Government of not below Grade Level 13.
The other surety, the judge ordered, must be a Lagos resident with a landed property, which document is to be handed over to the court after verification.
Justice Aikawa directed that Tochukwu be remanded in prison until his bail conditions are met and thereafter should report to SON’s office every last Friday until the determination of the case.
The judge adjourned until December 10 for trial.