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Published On: Sun, Mar 2nd, 2014

Unwholesome products: Court upholds CPC’s powers, dismisses suit against it

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By Clem Khena-Ogbena

A Federal High Court in Abuja has upheld the powers of the Consumer Protection Council(CPC) over unwholesome products, as it dismissed a suit brought against it by a tobacco company.

The suit was filed by Creation Commercial Ventures Limited, the sole distributors of Superkings Cigarette in Nigeria for Imperial Tobacco, United Kingdom.

A statement issued at the weekend, in Abuja, by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), further stated, “The company, in an originating motion on notice, had approached the Court, pursuant to Sections 6, 36, 44 and 46(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to declare as a gross violation of its fundamental right the seizure and detention of over 3000 cartons of Superkings Cigarette by the Council.

“In the application filed on its behalf by its lead counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), and three other lawyers, the company had sought an order of the Court for the immediate release of the seized cigarettes,an injunction restraining CPC from further seizing and detaining its products and damages in the sum of N300 Million.”

The statement, however, said CPC, in its argument, through its counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oguneso (SAN), had submitted that its actions were within the provisions of Section 15(2e) of its enabling Act and

Section 44(1x) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It added that the Council further argued that the health warning on the Superkings Cigarette, being marketed in Nigeria, failed to occupy 30 percent of the lower part of each panel of the packets of the

cigarette, thus constituting a violation of the Nigerian Industrial Standard.

According to the CPC, it (Council) had also submitted that contrary to the requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standard, the name and location address of the manufacturer or distributor of Superkings

Cigarette were not legibly marked on each side of the packets of the cigarette.

While delivering the judgment, Justice Evoh Stephen Chukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja held that the right to property was not absolute, affirming that CPC had shown that the Superkings Cigarette

that the plaintiff was marketing in Nigeria was not in conformity with the laws and regulations of the country. On this ground, the court

 

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