A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday sentenced two men, Kingsley Meteke and John Uche, to two years imprisonment each for adulterating engine oil.
The convicts were charged alongside two others – Olaide Shittu and Abdulquadri Olayinka.
They were arraigned in March.
While Meteke and Uche pleaded guilty to the charge, Shittu and Olayinka pleaded not guilty.
Following the guilty plea by Mateke and Uche, the court reviewed the facts of the case at the last adjourned date.
The Prosecutor, Mr J.A. Olofindare, had
tendered some exhibits in evidence.
On Friday, Olofindare additionally tendered in evidence a written statement of the the prosecution witness and a white gallon containing quantities of the adulterated engine oil.
Besides, the prosecution played a video tape of about 20 minutes showing the adulterated products and also showing the other defendants, excluding the third defendant.
He then urged the court to convict the duo based on their pleas and evidence by prosecution.
Although Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo queried the absence of the third defendant in the video, the judge convicted Mateke and Uche based on their guilty pleas and in line with Section 274 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
During allocutus (plea for mercy) Defence counsel, Mrs Bola Kolawole, begged the court to show mercy on the convicts, saying they were first offenders.
She added that the convicts had been in custody since they were arrested, and urged the court to consider the COVID-19 pandemic and tamper justice with mercy.
The judge held that the sentence would begin from the date of their arrest.
A date for trial of the other defendants is yet to be fixed.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) had charged the defendants on four counts of production, possession, dealing in and distribution of substandard engine oil.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convicts and their alleged conspirators were arrrested in 2019.
The prosecution said they adulterated 128 drums and 9.45 litres of engine oil and indulged in its production which did not meet mandatory industrial standards.
The products were said to have failed to comply with the SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme.
The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 1(8) and 1(8)(II) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004.