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Govt Tobacco Litigation: Court Orders Service on Foreign Defendants
Sunday, 06 May 2007


The suit filed by the Attorney General of Lagos State against British American Tobacco (Nigeria) Limited and five others came up for the first time on Friday (May 4) before Justice Ipaye sitting at the Lagos State High Court (Commercial Division), TBS Annexe. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, led seven other lawyers; a combination of the State's legal representatives and lawyers with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice including Lawal Pedro, the Director of Civil Litigation in the Ministry of Justice, Lagos State.




The Court heard and granted the Attorney General's application for leave to serve Defendants in the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland with the processes in the suit. With this ruling, Justice Ipaye has now set in motion the process for the Defendants to answer for the substantial allegations against them including deceptive and fraudulent practices of targeting and marketing their products to young and underage persons, and other reliefs including monetary damages.


The learned Judge in her remarks underscored the seriousness and importance of the case and therefore set the matter for the next hearing on the 18 th of May 2007, at which time it is expected that the Defendants should be prepared to defend initial or preliminary applications against them.


It will be recalled that the Attorney- General in this action, seeks to cease the sale of cigarettes to children and underage persons, inhibit advertising to children and underage persons; and also avert an impending health epidemic that the increasing tide of tobacco smoking portends for Lagos State.


The  Attorney General had   on behalf of the State Government and in conjunction with  Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN)  filed the action at the Lagos State High Court against big tobacco companies and a tobacco lobby group, seeking extensive reliefs that intend to regulate tobacco smoking especially as it affects youth and underage smoking. The Claimants also seek special, general, punitive and anticipatory damages in the sum of $21,617,605, 885.17 (N2,702,200,735,647.17) from the Defendants.


The Defendants in the suit with Suit No: LD/ 524/ 2007, are: British American Tobacco ( Nigeria) Limited, International Tobacco Limited, British American Tobacco Plc, British American Tobacco (Investment) Limited, Philip Morris International, and the Tobacco Institute.




For further information Contact:


Akinbode Oluwafemi:        234-8060535681, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Julie Omoyeni:                     234-8023425142, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ikem   Isiekwena:                 234-8033894864, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it




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