Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Court strikes out BATN’s suit against FCCPC

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Monday, completely struck out an Originating Summons, in an action filed by British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), against the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

BATN had asked the court to prevent FCCPC from investigating it for anti-consumer protection, public health and anti-competition violations that the Commission was investigating.

The tobacco company had, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1350/2020 before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, secured an ex parte injunction, and further asked the court to prevent the continuation of the investigation by the consumer protection commission.

In a preliminary objection argued by Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, the court agreed that the case was premature and lacking in merit, as administrative conditions precedent, such as Pre-Action Notice, were not complied with by BATN.

The court noted that there was no basis or urgency for the filing of the action after the Pre-Action Notice which, according to the court, remains a fundamental provision of the law.

By this decision, the ex parte injunction expires as the court refused the case and agreed with the FCCPC that it had no jurisdiction to hear the case.