By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA – A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra state, has struck out the charge of faking Eva bottled water brought against an Ojoto, Anambra state business man, Emmanuel Okeke. The court meanwhile ordered the forfeiture of the fake products to the Federal Government, following the sudden death of the accused person in prison custody.
The case was preferred against Okeke by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2008 and while in detention, he fell sick and was referred to the General Hospital, Awka, where he died in May this year.
He was said to have produced 150 cartons x12 bottles x150cl of Eva Table water, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 1 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous provisions) Act No 25 of 1999 and punishable under section 3 (1) of the same Act.
A statement by the Assistant Controller of Prisons by one Obukwelu Ethel a Chief Superintendent of Prisons (CSP) in charge of Nursing Services said Okeke died of cardiac arrest.
The letter dated June 29,2009 and addressed to the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Awka said, â€œI am directed to inform you that ATM NO.FHC/EN/1OC/08 Emmanuel Okeke, an un-convicted prisoner, died at General Hospital, Awka on May 22, 2009 with diagnosis of cardio vascular accident.
â€œThe reason for the delay in informing you is that the relations applied for the corpse to be released to them for burial and up till date, we have not heard from them, hence we write to inform your office. His remains is still in the mortuary,â€the statement added.