Nigeria to arraign supermarkets, pharmacies owners over price hike

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The Federal government will on June 25 arraign two supermarkets and two pharmacies before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court for hiking prices of key hygiene products such as hand sanitizer and face masks.

They are Prince Ebeano Supermarket Limited and its proprietor, David Ojei, and Bakan Gizo Pharmacy & Stores Nigeria Limited, and the representatives, Ray Opia and Luter Irene.

Others are H-Medix Pharmacy & Stores Limited, and the representatives, Sandra Ejekwu and John Oluwagbemiga, as well as Faxx Stores & Trading Limited and the representative, Adogah Ahmed.

The companies were charged to court by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) for allegedly taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to inflate prices of key hygiene products contrary to Section 108(1) of FCCP Act 2018.

However, when the matter was called on Tuesday, the prosecution counsel, Babatunde Irukere, told the court that the matter was for arraignment and that they were ready for the matter as scheduled.

But counsel to the first and second defendants (H-Medics and Sandra Ejekwe), Abubakar Mohammed, announced that the second defendant could not appear in court, as she was not served with the court notice.

In a separate matter of similar offence involving Bakan Gizo Pharmacy and Store, Ray Opia and Luter Irene, the defense counsel, Festus Okpe, informed the court that the second defendant, who has been in Lagos since January was restricted from appearing in court due to the ban on interstate travel.

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