By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
An Osun State Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo on Tuesday sentenced a middle age man, Shodipo Olujimi to one year in prison for forgery.
Olujimi, who owns a satchet water factory (Genesis Water) in Ile-Ife was convincted for forging a laboratory results and presented the same to Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to proof that his water was safe for consumption.
The convict was also said to have forged a N25, 0000 bank deposit teller which was the penalty for his failure to submit genuine laboratory test report and used the same forged teller to obtained receipt from SON.
Olujimi, who was arraigned on a two-count charge on May 22, 2018, pleaded not guilty.
Mr Olofindare Adeleke, the prosecution counsel had told the court that the convict on July 2014 presented a forged laboratory report with intent of deceiving SON to approve his sachet water.
Adeleke said after diligent investigations, the report was found to be forged.
He said the offence was punishable under section 467 of the criminal Law Cap. 34, Vol. II laws of Osun State 2003.
Adeleke also said that the convict on Feb. 24, 2015, forged a N25, 000 Zenith Bank deposit teller number 1557310, being noncompliance fee imposed on his factory.
He told the court that the convict used the same forged teller to collect payment receipt with number 211681 from SON.
Adeleke said the teller was discovered to be fake when SON could not found the said amount in its account and also confirmed by Zenith Bank.
He said the offence is punishable under section 467 of the criminal law cap 34, Vol. IL laws of Osun.
Lawyer to the convict, Mr. R. A. Ugwu, pleaded with the court to be lenient with his client, saying he is the bread winner of the family.
Ugwu, said the convict was a Master degree holder and first offender.
Delivering the Judgment, Magistrate Modupe Awodele, said she was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the laboratory result and bank deposit presented to SON were forged by the accused.
Awodele said it was sad that many people might have used their hard earned money to purchase the untreated water, which might have resulted in some death.
According to her, “The convict should have pleaded for forgiveness and not mercy. He is wicked and did not deserve mercy.
“It is a presumption in law that anyone who is in a possession of a forged document is a forger.
“I hereby sentence the accused to six months in prison on count one and six months on count two.
“The sentence are to run concurrently”, Awodele said.
She also banned the the satchet water factory owned by the convict for one year.
Speaking after the Court Judgement, Mr Jerome Umoru, the Osun SON State Coordinator said the judgement would serve as a warning those who engage in unwholesome practices.
Umoru said the organisation would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that all producers and manufacturers follow standards.