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Friday, July 1, 2022

Court stays proceedings in N404m claim suit against GlaxoSmithKline

Justice Stephen Adah of a Federal High Court has stayed proceedings in a N404 million claim suit filed by a Burkina Fasso-based worker of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Charles Oben.

The plaintiff alleged that he is a victim of Zyloric, a drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited.

The court stayed action on proceedings in the matter, pending the determination of an appeal filed by the defendants.

Justice Adah had struck out the preliminary objection on jurisdiction, raised by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, in the suit. 

Counsel to the claimant, Mr. Obatosin Ogunkeye, told the court that Oben suffered health complications after taking the drug.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited and GlaxoSmithKline Plc UK filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos. 

Based on the grounds of appeal filed by its counsel, Mr. O.A. Ajasa, the drug manufacturing company averred that the trial judge erred in law for holding that the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter because the claim of the plaintiff/respondent has to do with the manufacture of Zyloric. 

Of the reliefs sought from the Court of Appeal is an order setting aside the decision and the orders of the lower court. It is also seeking an order to strike out the action on the grounds that the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the claims of the plaintiff/respondent.

Ruling on the preliminary objection by the drug manufacturing company, Justice Adah held that the court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit.

He said: “Objection is, therefore, overruled and the case is set down for hearing.”

The judge referred to Section 251(1) (m) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which provides that the court has exclusive jurisdiction for drugs and poisons. 

Court stays proceedings in N404m claim suit against GlaxoSmithKline

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