Court awards N36million to company over wrongful closure
A Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered that the sum of N36million be paid to a pharmaceutical company for wrongful closure of company premises.
This include the sum of N30million value of the Specialized Ethical drugs carted away, N5, 530,000 being the value of expired drugs during the closure of the Plaintiff’s premises and N1million for general damages.
The decision was in respect of the suit between Edichart Investment Ltd and the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed Food and others.
The Plaintiffs, Edichart Investment Ltd, Mr. Samuel Edih and Pharm. Alexander Ani Eton had approached the court to declare the action of the defendants as illegal, unconstitutional and null and void. Others joined in the suit as co-defendants are Pharm. (Mrs) G.O Balogun, Pharm. (Mrs) Adeoye and the Attorney General of Lagos State.
In May, 2010, the business Premises of Edichart Investment Ltd Situated on No.54, Olorunlogbon Street, Anthony Village, Lagos was sealed for 317 days and drugs valued at N30million were looted and carted away by the defendants on account that the Plaintiffs’ business premises cannot be registered because of its proximity to another pharmacy shop.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang in his ruling declared that the defendants failed to prove that the business premises of the Plaintiffs is less than 200 metres to another pharmacy shop which was the basis for sealing the premises of the Plaintiffs and denied them Registration License. Also, the claim of the defendants that the drugs of the Plaintiffs they carted away were destroyed within 12hrs was not substantiated with evidence.
Justice Abang also concurred with the Plaintiffs that the Defendants acted beyond their powers by sealing, looting and carting away the
Counsels to the Plaintiffs, Ethel Onuoha and Clement Onwuenwunor in their submissions asked the court to grant the Plaintiffs an order of injunction, restraining the defendants or their agents from further carting away drugs and sealing the premises of the plaintiffs.