Nigeria arraigns 4 pharmacy, supermarket stores over arbitrary price hike of covid-19 products
London, June 10, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital has fixed June 25, for the arraignment of two supermarkets and two pharmacy stores charged with hiking the prices of key hygiene products such as hand sanitizers and face masks needed for the prevention of covid-19 pandemic
The companies were charged in court by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council, FCCPC for allegedly taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country to increase the prices of key hygiene products contrary to law.
Counsel to the government, Mr. Babatunde Irukere, informed the court that they were ready to prosecute the case.
However counsel to H-Medix: one of the pharmacies in the suit, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, announced that the second defendant, Sandra Ejekwe, could not appear in court as she was not served with court papers.
Meanwhile in a separate matter of similar offense involving Bakan Gizo Pharmacy and Store, Ray Opia and Luter Irene, the defense counsel, Festus Okpe, informed the court that the second defendant, who has been in Lagos since January was restricted from appearing in court due to the ban on interstate travel.
Other defendants in the matter, Prince Ebeano super market and David Chukwuma sent an electronic communication explaining their reasons for being absent in court.
In his explanation, Chukwuma blamed his inability to appear in court on interstate movement restriction by the federal government due to COVID-19.
The presiding judge, Justice Nkonye Maha ordered that all parties to the matter be served with notices to ensure they are in court and adjourned the case to June 25, 2020.