News

July 19, 2017

TAKING COKE PRODUCTS AND VITamin C: Coca-Cola fails to stop judgement execution

By Innocent Anaba

lagos—The Nigeria Bottling Company, NBC, has failed in its attempt before a Lagos State High Court to stop the execution of a judgment declaring Fanta and Sprite poisonous soft drinks when taken with Vitamin C.

The court dismissed the application by NBC seeking the order of the court to stay execution of the judgment.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, also suffered some legal injuries for not taking appropriate measures before approving such dangerous soft drinks such as Fanta and Sprite,  which is glaringly poisonous to health when taken with Vitamin C.

The trial judge, Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, however, ordered conditional stay of execution of N2 million cost awarded against NAFDAC.

The judge ordered the agency to pay the money into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court pending the hearing and the determination of the appeal by NAFDAC.

 

Justice Oyebanji had observed that contrary to the argument of NBC that its business interest would be adversely affected if the order was not stayed, it is important to consider the preservation of  human life, adding  that “The business interest of Nigeria Bottling Company cannot, in my respected view take precedent over public health.

“It is beyond argument that if the application for stay is granted and human health is consequently adversely affected, it is most unlikely that there can indeed be a return to status quo.  It is imperative to add the resultant effect of the order sought to be stayed is the preservation of  human life, the business interest of Nigeria Bottling Company cannot in my respected view take precedent over public health.

“Accordingly, Nigeria Bottling Company ‘s application for stay of execution fails and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Oyebanji held.

In a related development,  Professor Taiwo Osipitan,  SAN, also filed and argued an application for stay of execution of the judgment of the court on behalf NAFDAC.

However, in opposition, Abiodun Onidare, who is the counsel to the claimants, Dr Emmanuel FIJABI Adebo and his company Fijabi Adebo Holding, argued that the paramount interest of the public was what mattered most and not the business policy and reputation of the Nigeria Bottling Company

It will be recalled that in a judgment delivered by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji on the February 15, 2017, the court had ordered NAFDAC to forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company, Plc to include on all bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with vitamin C.