Shoe polish of the Kiwi brand estimated at over N30million have been destroyed in Awka, Anambra state capital on the order of an Onitsha High Court.
The two truckload of Kiwi shoe polish which were said to be fake were impounded in Onitsha through the help of Asco Investment Limited, sole distributors of Kiwi polish in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria Police.
The court presided over by Hon Justice I U Ndigwe had on December 4th entered judgment in the matter by Hyginus Chukwuma and Uju Anike, plaintiffs, against the police and the MD, Asco Investment, Chief Sam Anyanwutaku.
In his judgment, the court upheld an earlier agreement made out of court by the parties involved, for the destruction of the fake Kiwi polish.
The execution of the court order which was carried out at the weekend was supervised by the police in the presence of journalists and officials of SE Johnson, manufacturers of the Kiwi brand of polish.
Chief Sam Anyanwutaku, Managing Director of Asco Investment, sole distributor of Kiwi Polish in Nigeria lamented that fake products were not only limited to polish, but stated that the failure of regulatory agencies to stop the importation of fake products into the country was killing the economy.
“The public execution of the Onitsha High Court judgement is to make sure that consumers buy only original products, and a warning to those who deal in fake products to desist from doing so.”
On his part, the agent of SE Johnson in West Africa, Mr Ogale Eloeni took a swipe at the regulatory agencies including Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON), saying that they frustrate the efforts of manufacturers by willingly refusing to act when complaints against fake product importers were brought before them.
“When you take a report to them, you find out that it takes as long as six months before they work on your complaints, at which time the importers of the product would have been alerted.
“SON is empowered to fish out and impound fake products, but they still do not live up to this. SE Johnson is in over 88 countries of the world and have been in existence for over 200 years. It is only in Nigeria that we have a problem of our products being faked.
“The polish we produce is not just to make your shoes shine, but to also protect it. But when you use these fake ones, they destroy your shoes and also tarnish the corporate image of our company and brands, and we will not sit back and let that happen,” Eloeni stated.