Judge adjourns NAFDAC, Guinness case for out – of – court settlement
The presiding judge, Justice Wasiu Animashaun adjourned the matter yesterday after counsel to Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mr. B. Salihu, told the court that parties were still holding meetings to see if the matter can be settled out of court.
Counsel to NAFDAC, Mr. O. M Abutu confirmed the position to the court that parties were still discussing.
The plaintiff, Guinness Nigeria Plc., instituted the suit for an imposed N1 billion fine by NAFDAC “as administrative charges for various clandestine violations of NAFDAC rules, regulations and enactments over a long period of time.”
The agency had in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc., Peter Ndegwa, by the Head, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Kingsley Ejiofor, demanding for the payment of N1 billion as administrative charges for infractions such as the destruction activities carried out by the company without the authorization and supervision of the agency.
Guinness was also accused by the agency of revalidating expired products without authorization and supervision by NAFDAC, as well as failing to secure the gate of its warehouse as the raw materials used in the production of beer and non-alcoholic beverages by the firm were permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents, which “invariably affect the integrity of the raw materials.”
NAFDAC also alleged that Guinness maintained poor documentation of record and not complying with conditions contained in the certificate of validation of the revalidated malt extract, which required the storage of the items in cool and dry place and elimination of exposure to sunlight.
Dissatisfied with the N1 billion fine, Guinness dragged the agency to court urging it to restrain NAFDAC and the Attorney General of the Federation from enforcing the sanction pending the determination of the suit.
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