Attorney general backs SON on prosecution of substandard goods’ promoters
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami, has backed the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON) prosecutorial powers to carry out its operations anywhere in the country.
The Chief State Counsel in the office of the Attorney General of Nigeria, Babatunde Alajogun, during SON’s enforcement exercise in Lagos said by virtue of the Act establishing the standards body, the agency has the full backing of the federal government to carry out its mandate in ensuring that only wholesome products suitable for Nigerian consumption are allowed to thrive at the nation’s markets
In his words, “If you look at the SON Act Nos 14 of 2015, their duties are enumerated. The Act has also made provision for offences and of course when you bring in substandard products, it means you have committed an offence and there are procedures we have to follow to ensure prosecution in court.
“If you look at sections 30 to 33, we have all the offences stated there and aside the SON Act, we are also using the criminal code to prosecute the offenders. When you bring in expired products, you are endangering the lives of the public and it is against the Nigerian law.”
He said the new SON Act has given the Director-General of SON and other officials the right to enter the premises and seize the products and also destroy them and if need be, the perpetrators can be taken to court.
“Generally, the SON act made provisions even for the officers so they have the rights and power to enforce the provision of the act and if you see anybody saying SON cannot enter any premises to evacuate substandard products and they will want to take us up on that, we are fully on ground.” he said.
According to him, by virtue of the law, SON can enter anywhere there is a commercial activity going on in the premises, saying that in cases where there is suspicions that products that will be injurious to the society or to the Nigerian economy, the agency has the right to enforce its powers.
Also, the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, Bede Obayi stated that SON is fully committed to driving the present administration’s ease of doing business mantra by providing technical assistance to the business community, stating that it is working with sister agencies to achieve this feat.
“We are already prepared to implement the federal government’s ease of doing business mantra. We have put up our structures to carry out our mandate and we are keying into this administration’s ease of doing business initiative along with other federal government agencies”, he added.