Tue. Apr 20th, 2021

Court Adjourns To View Video of Suspects Arrested Over Fake Engine Oil

Court Adjourns To View Video of Suspects Arrested Over Fake Engine Oil

A Federal High Court, Lagos, had refused to deliver judgment in a case brought against Uche Johnson and Kingsley Meteke by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

SON charged them with producing and distributing substandard engine oil.

Justice Oguntoyibo who presided over the court, had on Monday, July 20, 2020, refused to deliver judgement in a charge brought against the two defendants, while also criticised SON counsel for coming to court without fully prepared, to show a video clip of the suspects in action as part of the case review.

The defendants had pleaded guilty to the offence, and the day’s proceeding was for the case review and judgment.

When the case was called, the prosecuting counsel sought to tender some evidence, including a video recording of the crime scene.

The judge then asked the lawyer to play the video in court. 

“You have to put up the evidence before the court,” the judge said.

After tendering the video clip, the prosecuting counsel said he thought the court had the equipment to project it on the television in the courtroom.

He added that his laptop did not have a compact disc slot to project the clip to the court.

It was at this point that the judge faulted the SON lawyer, who she said was  “wasting time” by coming to the court unprepared.

The judge said: “If you bring a video clip, it has to be watched by everybody. Do you know what you are doing? 

“You want me to give a judgment when the court has not had a view of the evidence? That is not responsible. 

“You know you have a video clip yet you did not prepare for the court to view it. 

“You have come here to waste everybody’s time. You brought everybody here to come and do nothing. 

“Did it not occur to you that I was going to look at the video recording?”

After the judge admitted the video clip and the defendants’ statements in evidence, she adjourned until Friday to enable SON to prepare for the viewing of the clip.

In the charge, SON said the defendants adulterated 128 drums and 9.45 litres of engine oil. 

The defendants falsely claimed the products were genuine Total and Mobil lubricants. 

The agency said the defendants indulged in production of engine oil which did not meet mandatory industrial standards.

SON said the products failed to comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON) Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).

According to the prosecution, the offence contravened the provisions of sections 1(8) and 1(8)(II) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004. 

The defendants initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but later changed their plea to guilty, apparently due to SON’s overwhelming evidence against them.