The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in Abia says it has sponsored a bill in the state House of Assembly to enable it to prosecute fakers of products at the Mobile Court.
The state Chairman of the commission, Mr Nnabugwu Chidi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba on Tuesday.
Chidi said the bill became necessary because delays in prosecuting cases in normal courts was giving room for suspects “to manipulate the security personnel and escape before trial.”
According to him, the fakers will be prosecuted at the scene of their crimes, when arrested.
“You see, some security agencies have not been too faithful to what we do.
“So, we are happy that the State Government through the House of Assembly is about doing something that will enhance our operations here.
“And I’m happy that government is trying its best on this issue.
“We also thank the Majority Leader of the house, Mr Solomon Akpulonu, who has been working hard to ensure the bill sails through.
“The bill has gone through some important processes and about to be concluded so that we can start using it to strengthen our work,” Chidi said.
He said the occasional escape of some fakers after arrest, having encouraged and grown the crime of product adulteration and faking in Abia, posed great risk to people’s lives.
He said that the commission was also seeking to add more bills to enable the government to take over buildings where fakers commit their crimes to discourage the phenomenon.
“Any shop, house or apartment found to be used in making fake products would be forfeited to Abia government.
“This will help to ensure that other residents and landlords of such buildings would give necessary information on fakers to security or government agencies in order not to become victims.
“We are making moves to ensure this happens.
“We are also mobilising to inform everyone about the new move to safeguard innocent landlords and caretakers from becoming victims,” he said.
Chidi was hopeful that achieving the feat would not be hard with the assistance of the Attorney General of the state, who is a member of the commission’s Council, .
He urged residents to support the fight against faking, saying that “Abia has become a place where criminals come and get wealth by poisoning the people.”
He said that if fakers could fake an alcoholic drink sold for N100,000, which took the commission time to discover it was faked, anybody could become a victim.
He therefore urged Aba residents and Nigerians in general to volunteer information on fakers to security agencies in order to reduce the risk posed to unsuspecting consumers. (NAN)