How Illegal Distillery Was Uncovered In Akwa Ibom 

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On Tuesday 21 June, 2022, a special team of Nigeria Police, Civil Defense, DSS, Ekid People’s Union and Environmental Health, Ministry of Environment Akwa Ibom State led by the Executive Chairman of Eket Local Government; Rt. Hon. Akaniyene Tommey in a raid uncovered illegal alcoholic distillery in Okon Community, Eket Local Government.

 

Following a report by Ekid People’s Union, signed by the President General, Dr. Samuel Udonsak and addressed to the Ministry of Environment over the severe environmental damage by toxic gas emission in Ikot Okudom, Okon, Eket Local Government, and ill-sited factories in Okon, the ministry in response delegated a team of environmental health officers which were received by the Council Chairman to inspect the damaged site.

The chairman in his magnanimity gave cash palliative to the widow whose farmland and source of livelihood was destroyed by the emission assuring that further steps will be taken over the incident.
Although earlier plan was to inspect the site affected by the toxic emission from the suspected illegal cable melting factory, the Chairman being informed of other ill-sited factories considered it a case of public urgent importance to investigate the illegal factories.
The team uncovered two illegal fake drinks producing factories, arresting 2 suspects, one Esther married to Joseph Ogolo the proprietor of the factory from Anambra State, Ebenebe LGA who said that she only supports the husband in the business, and Daniel Okoye another kingpin producer from Abia State. Already produced fake wines and soft drinks were ready for distribution into the market.

Earlier, the team lead of Environmental Health, Ministry of Environment Sanitarian Michael Effiong, said that more analysis will be made to establish the actual cause of the damages to the farmland and that the matter will be charged to Court for redress.

The Sanitarian who spoke to the Pressmen, disclosed that the ministry received a letter from Ekid People’s Union informing them of the incident and the Commissioner sent a delegation to investigate.
“Based on the complain sent to the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, we were detailed to carry out an investigation and inspect all the places, having come here today what we have seen is that most people have turned Eket to a place of illegal industry, like the last place we visited to an extent of having a complete distillery and sealing machine and producing fake drinks to innocent members of the public”.
On the aspect of the gas emission, the Mr. Michael assured that, “a report will be put up to the Commissioner for Environment for all they have seen there. The matter will not be swept under the carpet. We will take samples for a lab test to know the actual cause of the damages”.
It was gathered that, the production of illegal drinks in the remote village has existed for a period of time and marketing of these products has also been on high hands thereby risking the health of the public who consumes these alcoholic beverages.
Different brands of local and foreign drinks were produced, cartons of empty drinks, labels, empty bottles of all kinds of drinks, cocks and already finished products were found in the premises.
The council chairman charged the security agencies to ensure all the items are evacuated and investigation should be on top gear to arrest other proprietors of illegal factories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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