By Dipo Olowookere
A court sitting in Edo State has held that Nigerian Breweries Plc lied on the information written on the can of one of its non-alcoholic drinks, Amstel Malt.
The company had claimed that the drink has “low sugar” content, but one of its customers, Mr Ernest Izevbigie, a professor of Biochemistry, challenged this at the Edo State High Court.
Mr Izevbigie, who filed a lawsuit against the leading brewery firm through his counsel, Okonkwo Emmanuel of Henry Idahagbon and Co. (Trinity Chambers), said that a laboratory investigation revealed that the product contained more sugar than the company put on the brand, asking the court to direct the company to tender a written apology to him as he had been injured by the deception.
Mr Izevbigie, a former Vice-Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State, also prayed the court to pronounce that the inscription on the product was misleading to the public.
Ruling on the matter on Wednesday, Justice Esohe Ikpomwen directed Nigerian Breweries Plc to apologise to the claimant and members of the public for the deception.
However, the judge said evidence before the court showed that the sugar content of Amstel Malt was between the approved 10 percent and 15 percent of sugar by the regulatory body, but stressed that Nigerian Breweries should have indicated that the sugar content contained in the product was lower than other beverage non-alcoholic drinks rather than the “low sugar’’ inscription.
Justice Ikponmwen held that while she might not grant the request suggesting that the information was deceitful, she held that it was a trade trick competition taken too far by the firm.
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