Beware! Fake Guilder beer and other brewed products exist in Nigerian markets as SECURITY MONITOR Managing Editor, Wale Abideen’s investigations reveal.
The joy of every hard working man is to enjoy life with every good thing that money can buy. This joy was almost shattered for Olu Akinyele, 32 years old music producer who on the 14th day of June 2015 during the launching of a musical album tiled My Star drank “harmful beer” and have to require medical attention to save his life. Akinyele had purchased several brands of drinks including Guilder beer. He was drinking a second bottle of Guilder when he realized that there were some particles entering his mouth from the beer he was drinking. He checked the bottle and discovered it contains some “foreign” particles. This necessitated inspection on the remaining bottles of Guilder beer at the event and it was discovered that most of the Guilder products were containing certain foreign particles which make the product “unfit for human consumption”.
Akinyele was not the only victim of the alleged counterfeit Guilder at the event as Damilola Otakoya who was also at the album launch experienced similar predicament. He also drank about three bottles of Guilder before the alarm was raised; there were other friends and invitees that also drank Guilder brand on that day. Some of those that drank the counterfeit beer at the events suddenly experienced stomach ache and for Akinyele throughout that night “I was having blood stained purging and serious stomach trouble”
Otakoya also narrated his ordeal to SECURITY MONITOR noting that he taught he was going to die that night. “I was purging profusely and I thought I was going to die. I prayed and vouched not to drink any beer again in my life if God can spare my life”
The deteriorating nature of the victims of “fake Guilder” consumers forced Akinyele and Otakoya to Badagry General Hospital on the 14 of July 2015 where they were referred to Medical Laboratory for several tests and scan. The Doctor prescribed certain drugs to suppress and manage their situations pending the outcome of the tests. Even, with that preliminary medication “I couldn’t go to work for several days” Otakoya told SECURITY MONITOR.
The outcome of the laboratory test confirmed that they were affected by the contaminated drinks such as the “fake Guilder” they drank. Akinyele, Otakoya and the host of other invitees who drank Guilder at the event resorted to medical attention to save their lives. To many of the victims who spoke to this medium via telephone conversation “it was like the world was going to an end drinking Guilder beer at the album launch”.
Further investigations about the origin of the “deadly beer” took SECURITY MONITOR to Nigerian Breweries Plc, Headquarters in Iganmu area of Lagos where Edem Vindah, the company’s Head of Media and Public Affairs Department affirmed that the bottles of the beer brought before him were actually that of Nigerian Breweries Plc but that the contents therein “did not and can never have emanated from the company”.
James Oyebade, a legal practitioner and counsel to the duo of Akinyele and Otakoya told SECURITY MONITOR that he had written Nigerian Breweries twice intimating the company of the a looming legal action should it fails to address or compensate his clients accordingly. Oyebade added that he subsequently received a letter dated 30th July, 2015, signed by the Nigerian Breweries Plc Legal and IP Manager, Kunle Adaramola that the “company has forwarded my complaint to it insurers from whom I will receive an appropriate respond in due course”.
“Nevertheless we assure you that the Guilder brands allegedly containing some particles which makes the product unreasonable dangerous for consumption could not have emanated from our company as we do not produce or supply unwholesome brands” Adaramola added in his response letter, photocopy of which was made available to SECURITY MONITOR by Oyebade counsel to the victims of fake Guilder.
But early February, 2016, Oyebade continued, “I received another letter from the said insurer claiming that Nigerian Breweries Plc does not produce products that are dangerous to human consumption and that the company is not liable to the tragedy that befell the consumers of the harmful beer”
Oyabade who stressed his readiness to institute legal action against Nigerian Breweries Plc, maker of Guilder brand noted that “consequent upon consumption of the Guilder beer my clients have suffered deteriorating health hazard, spent huge amount of money on treatment and have lost their Jobs. This according to the legal practitioner is an infringement on the right of my clients and we shall continue to report the case to appropriate authorities such as Consumer Protection Council, CPC, National Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC and eventually go to court”.
SECURITY MONITOR checks depicts that the country is littered with proliferation of fake and substandard consumables. Investigations reveal that virtually all popular brands in the country are pirated and the situation if not salvaged could endanger lives of many Nigerians.
Sometimes ago, one Ganiu Abdullah almost lost his life after drinking a fake Pepsi. The Pepsi product, manufactured by 7UP Bottling Company, also contained foreign particles and was said to “lack potency”. The company management could not explain the mystery behind the glaring particles inside the Pepsi brought to them instead was threatening legal action against the investigator. During the cause of investigations, this medium receive complaints from many Nigerians and samples of substandard Malta Guinness and Origin beer were made available to SECURITY MONITOR.
Hundreds of consumable products without expiring date and manufacturer address find their way into Nigerian markets and are consumed by innocent Nigerians. This ugly development, it was argued were due to “negligence of duty or compromise of standard by the regulatory agencies in the country”.