The Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has dismissed Nigerian Bottling Company’s application, praying to stay the execution of a judgment which mandated it to indicate on the bottles of Fanta and Sprite that the products cannot be taken along with Vitamin C.
The NBC, through its lawyer, Mr. Tunde Busari (SAN), had urged the court to stay the execution of the judgment pending the outcome of its appeal.
Busari had said it was important to protect his client’s business interest pending the outcome of the appeal.
But Justice Adedayo Oyebanji refused the application, holding that while any adverse effect suffered by the NBC to its business interest could be redressed, injury to human health could not.
The judge held, “It seems to the court evident that in the event of a refusal of the application for stay of execution, if the business interest of the Nigerian Bottling Company is consequently adversely affected, a return to status quo can be achieved if Nigerian Bottling Company’s appeal at the Court of Appeal succeeds. It is beyond argument that if the application for stay is granted and human health is consequently adversely affected, it is most unlikely that there can indeed be a return to status quo.
“It is imperative to add the resultant effect of the order sought to be stayed is the preservation of human life.”
the business interest of the Nigerian Bottling Company cannot, in my respected view, take precedent over public health. The importance of public health is clearly demonstrated and underscored by the constitutional provision in Section 45 thereof.
“For the reasons herein adumbrated, it seems to me manifest that the Nigerian Bottling Company has failed to disclose any special circumstances which would warrant the grant of this application. Accordingly, Nigeria Bottling Company’s application for stay of execution fails and it is hereby dismissed.”