Cajetan Chike Muonagolu, a businessman, has been remanded in prison custody by Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge bordering on dealing in adulterated and substandard engine oil.
The court admitted Muonagolu to bail in the sum of N50million with two sureties in the like sum.
While ruling on his bail application, the judge ordered his remandment pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
One of the sureties must be a civil/public servant not less than Grade Level 15 in the employment of the Federal or Lagos State Government while the other must be the defendant’s relation with landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The court ordered that both sureties must deposit their passport photographs with the court while Muonagolu must deposit his international passport with the court Registrar.
The prosecution and the Court Registrar are to verify the sureties’ address.
Arguing the bail application on Thursday, defence counsel Goke Olagunlehin, holding the brief of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the Court to grant his client bail.
The SON prosecution team of Babatunde Alajogun and Adeleke Olofindare opposed the bail application on the ground that Muonagolu committed another offence during the pendency of the case.
Alajogun said Muonagolu broke and removed the official seal of SON and evacuated 15, 000 cartons of suspected adulterated/substandard engine oil which SON put on hold.
He also allegedly assaulted and beat up SON officials in the course of their lawful duties.
The court ordered the counsel for the prosecution and defence to visit the warehouse to ascertain the breaking of the seal or otherwise.
The matter was adjourned to May 20, 2019 for commencement of trial.
The Federal Government charged the defendants with four counts of production, possession, dealing in and distribution of substandard engine oil.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the charge, the defendants are accused of committing the offences at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State between December 12 and 13 2018.
They were accused of being in possession of 15,000 Cartons of adulterated Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of engine oil which they present as being of quality.
The offences contravene Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 26 of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, 2015.
Part of the charge reads: “That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did indulge in dealing in adulterated/substandard engine oil to wit: 15,000 Cartons and 60,00 pieces of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of Engine oil which is not of quality, substance nature or efficacy which the seller represented it to be and thereby commit an offence punishable under Section 1 (18)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
“That you Cajetan Chike Muonagolu and Richbon Nigeria Limited of Plot 242, Oshodi Apapa Express Way , Odolowu Bus Stop, Lagos on or about 12/13 December 2019, while at ASPAMDA Trade Fair Complex, Lagos Badagry Expressway Lagos State Lagos State Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to comply with the Standards Organisation of Nigheria’s Conformity Assessment Programe (MANCAP) to wit; dealing in and having in possession of: 15,000 Cartons of Prime Plasma, Prime ATF and Stanley brand of adulterated/substandard engine oil”.
SON recently undertook a nationwide raid on suspected adulterated and substandard lubricants in response to a myriad of Consumer complaints and failure of engines occasioned by suspected substandard engine oils.
The arraignment of Muonagolu and his company, Richbond Nigeria Limited, follows other ongoing prosecution of standards infractions in relation to adulterated and substandard engine oils in Lagos and other parts of the country.