Ten suspects in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State, are in the net of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control over adulterated drinks as the agency closed the Cemetery Market in the area.

The Director of the Southeast Zone of NAFDAC, Martins Iluyomade, revealed this to journalists, on Tuesday, during the raid on the market that began on Monday, stating that the suspects from the Cemetery Market were occupying more than 240 shops meant for traders they they became production centers for large-scale adulteration of drinks and drugs.

“What is happening here in Cemetery Market, Aba is worse than Boko Haram. We saw how many stores were converted into production centers for all types of wines, expensive drinks and revalidation of product expiration dates.

“We have the cooperation of the state government and so far we have discovered 240 shops used for this illegal manufacturing of counterfeit consumables and about 10 people have been arrested and arrests are still ongoing,” he said while calling for the temporary closure of Cemetery Market, Aba , for adequate hygiene after the huge discovery of large-scale production of counterfeit products on the market.

He revealed that the agency obtained information about illegal activities involving the adulteration of well-known beverage brands on the market by a large number of people, stating that after carrying out some background checks, he discovered that “horrendous things” were happening there and decided to carry out the operation without involving your Abia office.

“Four trailers cannot transport the counterfeit products we remove from here. It shows how bad we have been as a country and the extent of the dangers these people are creating. No wonder we have all kinds of health problems and the funny thing is that we use our money to buy this evil. Our General Manager leaves no stone unturned to get rid of counterfeit products in our market.

“I'm going to suggest that this market be closed for now until we sanitize it for a while. We have written to the relevant authorities to this effect and we think it is the right thing to do because when there are people around, the whole place becomes rowdy,” he said.

Reacting, the South East Youth Leaders Coalition disapproved of the development, describing it as “the inhumanity of man to man”, advising that the matter should not be handled with kid gloves.

The leader of COSEYL, Mr. Goodluck Ibem, who spoke to journalists, called on the National Assembly to amend the constitution with the death penalty attached to the production of adulterated products and their sale. Likewise, he appealed to the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, to cooperate with NAFDAC in the state to ensure that the Cemetery Market is sanitized and spoiled eggs are sent out while genuine businessmen are encouraged to make their legal business.

According to the Aba Unit of the Civil Liberties Organization, the situation amounts to a terrorist act, with the perpetrators being terrorists who should be properly dealt with by the agency.

The Chairman of the CLO in Aba, Dr. Charles Chinekezi, charged officials of NAFDAC and other law enforcement agencies to be aware of counterfeit, substandard and expired products and to be more serious in dealing with the perpetrators of such acts, noting that the agency's attitude, if changed, will go a long way toward determining whether such activities will continue or cease.

Source