Court strikes out firm’s objection in N404m drug reaction suit

GLAXOSMITHKLINE Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited has lost its bid to stop a N404 million suit instituted against it by a Burkina-Faso based employee of United Bank of Africa Plc, Mr. Charles Oben, as a Federal High Court, Ikeja division has struck out its preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to handle the matter.

The claimant had sued the company after he allegedly suffered health complications after taking ‘ZYLORIC’ drug, a product allegedly manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

But the company filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

However, in his ruling on the objection, Judge Stephen Jonah Adah held that the court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit.

The judge ruled: “Objection is therefore overruled. Case is set down for hearing.”

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

He added that what determined jurisdiction was the claim of the plaintiff and that in the matter, the focal claim of the plaintiff dealt with manufacturing and distribution of the drug called ‘ZYLORIC’ produced by the defendants.

The judge said: “The plaintiff is seeking the intervention of the court to stop the defendants from producing this drug. There is no other court allowed to do this other than this court, so it is obvious that this court is the seat of the jurisdiction for this case”.

However, dissatisfied with the decision of the lower court, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited and GlaxoSmithKline Plc UK have filed notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos.


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