Senior Special Adviser to Governor Dave Umahi on Internal Security, Kenneth Ugbala, said the rice was seized on Tuesday and Wednesday when an investigating committee visited the market.Ugbala, who chairs the committee, added that the market has been rid of all the suspected adulterated rice, and re-assured the people that Abakaliki rice is still safe and fit for consumption.
Commissioner for Environment Donatus Njoku said a staff of the ministry went to the market on Sunday and saw one of the millers mixing the rice in bags labelled as “not for human consumption” with others and re-bagging them.
The worker reported to him on Monday and he made preliminary investigations before reporting to the State Executive Council, which ordered the closure of the market and raised a panel to investigate the matter.
According to Njoku, the committee seized over 378 bags of the poisonous rice which was imported into the state from other parts of the country. Several persons were also arrested for the crime.
The leadership of the rice mill, headed by Joseph Ununu, has been suspended.
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