A businessman, Cajetan Chike Muonagolu has been ordered to be remanded in prison custody by Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court Ikoyi Lagos on a 4 count charge bordering on dealing in adulterated and substandard engine oil.
The court admitted Muonagolu to bail in the sum of N50million and two sureties in the like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil/public servant not less than Grade Level 15 in the employment of the Federal or Lagos State Government while the other must be the defendant’s relation with landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
Other conditions include; That both sureties must deposit their passport photographs with the court while Muonagolu must deposit his international passport with the court Registrar and the prosecution and the Court Registrar are to verify the sureties’ address.
Arguing the bail application, counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendant, Mike Ozekhome, represented by Goke Olagunlehin holding brief for D.A. Awosika supported by Heritage Omoyera and Umeizie Chukwudimma urged the Court to grant his client bail.
The SON prosecution team of Babatunde Alajogun and Adeleke Olofindare opposed the bail application on the ground that the 1st defendant, Cajetan Chike Muonagolu committed another offence during the pendency of the case by;
i. breaking and removing the official seal of SON and evacuated 15, 000 cartons of suspected adulterated/substandard engine oil which SON put on hold.
ii. Assaulting and beating up SON officials in the course of their lawful duties.
The court ordered the Counsels for the prosecution and defence to visit the warehouse to ascertain the breaking of the seal or otherwise.
The matter was adjourned to 20th May, 2019 for commencement of trial.
The Federal Government had charged the defendants with four counts of production, possession, dealing in and distribution of substandard engine oil.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the charge, the defendants are accused of committing the offences at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State between December 12 and 13 2018.
They were accused of being in possession of 15,000 Cartons of adulterated Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of engine oil which they present as being of quality.
The prosecutor, Mr Adeleke Olofindare, said their offences contravene Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 26 of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, 2015.
A part of the charge reads : ” That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did indulge in dealing in adulterated/substandard engine oil to wit: 15,000 Cartons and 60,00 pieces of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of Engine oil which is not of quality, substance nature or efficacy which the seller represented it to be and thereby commit an offence punishable under Section 1 (18)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigheria’s Conformity Assessment Programe (MANCAP) to wit; dealing in and having in possession of: 15,000 Cartons of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of adulterated/substandard engine oil”.
It will be recalled that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria recently undertook a nationwide raid on suspected adulterated and substandard lubricants in response to a myriad of Consumer complaints and failure of engines occasioned by suspected substandard engine oils.
The arraignment of Muonagolu and his company, Richbond Nigeria Limited follows on the heels of other ongoing prosecution of standards infractions in relation to adulterated and substandard engine oils in Lagos and other parts of the Country.