The Federal Government of Nigeria is suing Coca-Cola and Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), over alleged failure to comply with Consumer Protection Council (CPC) orders over two half-empty cans of Sprite.
The lawsuits follow a consumer complaint, which ended in investigation into the half-filled cans of Sprite bought at a supermarket in Abuja.
The case was brought to the Federal High Court in Abuja against Coca-Cola Nigeria and its chief executive as well as the Nigerian Bottling Company and its managing director for criminal breach of the Consumer Protection Act.
Both firms stand accused of “deliberately failing, refusing and/or neglecting to comply” with orders over the inspection of their manufacturing processes.
Individuals responsible could face up to five years in prison.
CPC added that during its investigation half-filled cans continued to evaporate. CPC concluded that the Sprite situation in Nigeria poses a threat to public health.
Back in February the CPC issued a statement to Coca-Cola, arguing that Nigeria was not a “dumping ground for substandard products,” adding that it has been overwhelmed with complaints against the company, including rusty cans, rusty bottle tops and foreign objects found in the soft drinks.
CPC also filed an additional charge against both companies for refusing to appear before the council “in relation to investigation of violation of product quality standard under the CPC Act after summons was duly issued and served.”