In response to President Bola Tinubu’s directive urging security agents to address factors contributing to the food crisis in the nation, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has taken action by sealing off a well-known supermarket in the Area 11 Garki area of Abuja on Friday.

The Sahad Store Supermarket management stands accused of deceptive pricing practices, allegedly charging customers amounts different from the officially displayed price tags on their shelves.

The FCCPC enforcement team, headed by Acting Executive Vice Chairman Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, conducted a preliminary investigation, confirming the allegations of customer shortchanging. Abdullahi, briefing journalists afterward, declared that the supermarket would remain sealed until a thorough investigation is concluded.

He highlighted the findings of misleading pricing and a lack of transparency, which, according to Section 115 (3) of the law, prohibits consumers from paying prices higher than those displayed. Section 155 stipulates that corporate entities violating this regulation could face fines of up to 100 million naira, and the company directors, upon conviction, may be liable to pay 10 million naira each or face imprisonment for six months, or both.

Abdullahi emphasized the FCCPC’s commitment to ensuring compliance with the law, stating that the supermarket had been initially summoned to present their defense but failed to appear. Eventually, a lawyer was sent on their behalf, but he lacked familiarity with the case details. To lift the seal on the store, the FCCPC requires the supermarket to rectify the situation according to the necessary legal procedures.

This development follows the Federal Government’s collaboration with state governors to establish a committee aimed at addressing the hoarding of produce and essential commodities in response to the unprecedented food inflation currently affecting the country.

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