The Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and their chief executives are at risk of jail terms if found guilty of criminal breach of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Act in a suit filed by the Federal Government.
It will be recalled that CPC had earlier this year found NBC and Coca-Cola guilty following its findings from the administrative panel set up over a consumer complaint regarding two half-empty cans of Sprite manufactured by Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited under the licence and authority of Coca Cola Nigeria Limited.
In the charge against NBC and its Managing Director, Mr. Ben Langat, the federal government alleged that the two accused persons committed an offence by violating the orders of the Consumer Protection Council by ?deliberately failing, refusing and/or neglecting to comply with the Council?s orders duly made and served on you and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap C. 25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section.?
The accused persons are facing a two count charge.
The government alleged that Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and its Managing Director, Mr. Adeola Adetunji, have committed an offence by refusing to ?attend the hearing of the CPC held in Abuja in relation to investigation of violation of product quality standard under the CPC Act after summons was duly issued and served on you and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 of the CPC Act Cap C. 25 of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section.?
According to a Daily Times report, Coca-Cola and its Chief Executive, as in the case of NBC, were also charged for violating the Orders of the Council by deliberately refusing to comply with the order duly made and served on them, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 21 of the CPC Act, Cap C. 25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section.
The two criminal cases have been listed before Justice E.S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court 8, Abuja but a date is yet to be fixed for hearing.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in an unprecedented move, has preferred a one-count charge against the NBC and its Managing Director and a two-count charge against Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and its Chief Executive, making them liable to jail terms ranging from three to five years, if found guilty.