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CPC dissociates self from Coca-Cola S-Court case

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By Innocent Anaba

lagos—The Consumer Protection Council, CPC, has clarified that it did not participate in the case in which its Director General, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, secured N17million Supreme Court judgment against Coca Cola Nigeria as a private legal practitioner.

CPC said though Coca Cola, like any other company was within the consumer protection jurisdiction of  CPC, the case was not about such an issue and the CPC neither contributed nor participated in the dispute or judicial process.

Irukera had participated in the judicial proceedings as a partner at SimmonsCooper Partners, Lagos, before he was appointed as the DG of CPC.

“The subject of the litigation appears to be a private employment dispute between Coca Cola and Mrs. Titilayo Akisanya. The conflict was not about, or on account of a consumer issue or failure. There was no underlying complaint or apparent statutory jurisdiction of the CPC.

“Essentially, the only child connection of the CPC to this case is that the court decision was delivered by the Supreme Court at a time after counsel of record, Babatunde Irukera was appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Director General of the CPC, though he previously argued the case before this appointment,” CPC said in a statement by its DG.

On its part, Coca Cola in a statement, said  “We wish to clarify that the CPC is not in any way involved in the subject-matter of the suit nor was the dispute referred to the Council at any time by any of the parties. The litigation originated at the National Industrial Court in February 2012 and the law firm of SimmonsCoopers Partners represented the claimant.”

The current Director General of the Council, Mr. Irukera who, at the time, worked in that firm appeared for the claimant.

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