A Lagos High Court has dismissed an application the Nigeria Bottling Company Plc filed, seeking the order of the court to stay execution of its judgement mandating the beverage company to include warning on its products.
The court ruled in February that the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, should make the NBC include the warning on all bottles of Fanta and Sprite, soft drinks manufactured by the company—and to also state their contents.
The warning is to state: “Fanta and Sprite cannot be taken with Vitamin C as they become poisonous if taken”.
The legal began in February when a businessman named Fijabi Adebo whose goods bought from the NBC—and exported—were destroyed by the U.K authorities. He and his company Fijabi Adebo Holdings had to sue the MBC and NAFDAC on the ground that the drinks contained a chemical that must not been taken with Vitamin C—and even other elements long banned in Europe.
The judge, Justice Adenayo Oyebanji, also ordered conditional stay of execution of the N2 million cost awarded against NAFDAC, but asked the agency to pay the money into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court until the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by NAFDAC.
The ruling followed an application filed and argued before the court by a Lagos lawyer, T.A. Busari, on behalf of the NBC.
The lawyer argued that the order made by the court will adversely affect the operations of the company if the execution of same is not stayed pending the outcome of the appeal filed by the company.
Busari insisted the court order was prejudicial to its business, policy and reputation as a foremost beverage company.
However, another lawyer, Taiwo Osipitan, filed and argued an application for stay of execution of the judgement of the court on behalf of NAFDAC.
Osipitan said NAFDAC has appealed against the judgement of the court to the Court of Appeal, and the appeal raises jurisdictional issues which affects the competence of the suit and the validity of the judgement of the court. He explained that if the judgement is not stayed, NAFDAC appeal will merely sound academic.
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