by OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has ordered the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit Processed Food and others to pay the sum of N36.53 million to Edichart Investments Limited and two others for the unlawful sealing and looting of their pharmacy.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang also awarded N1m as general damages in favour of Edichart Investments Limited, Samuel Edih and Alezander Ani Eton against the plaintiff for illegal closure of the pharmacy located at 45, Olarunlogbon Street, Antony Village, Lagos.
In his judgment on the seven year case, the judge held that the claims that the defendants failed to register the plaintiffs’ pharmacy was not tenable.
The judge, had before delivering the verdict, held that the judgment was within the 90 days required of a judge to give judgment from the day the case was concluded.
The defendants were not represented by counsel, but the plaintiffs’ counsel informed the court that the defence counsels were fully aware of the new date for the judgment.
In the judgment, Justice Abang agreed with the plaintiffs that the defendants acted outside their powers by sealing, raiding and carting away the plaintiffs’ drugs and also failing to grant their pharmacy licence, as they (defendants) failed to establish the proximity of another pharmacy to 45, Olarunlogbon Street, Antony Village, Lagos, which is where the plaintiffs’ pharmacy is situated.
The court awarded N35.53 million in favour the plaintiffs against the defendants as special damages and N1m as general damages.
The plaintiffs had dragged Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit Processed Food, Mrs G.O. Balogun, Mrs Adeoye and Attorney General of Lagos State, to court on November 23, 2010, over the defendants’ raid on Edichart Investments Limited pharmacy and carting away its drugs and closing the place.