Ex-Judge, NGO sue NAFDAC, others over alleged importation of banned chemical

A retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede and Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI) have sued the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and eight others at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over importation of a banned chemical, methyl bromide, into the country.

Oloyede and VURJI in the suit before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo are seeking an order to compel the defendants to investigate, identify and destroy in a healthy and safe manner any methyl bromide, an odourless and colourless gas, used to control pests in agriculture, which has serious negative effect on humans and the environment.

They are also urging the court to declare that the alleged importation of the banned chemical substance into the country by a Lagos-based firm pursuant to the licence issued by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) and without the permission of NAFDAC is unlawful and illegal.

In the 32-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the suit and personally sworn to by the retired judge, she claimed that the agro-chemical had been banned in Nigeria.

They also want the court to determine whether the power and functions of the NAQS include the granting of licence for the importation of chemical substances.

But in its counter-affidavit to the suit, NAQS asked the court to dismiss the case because the plaintiffs do not have the locus standi to institute the action against the defendant, as it has not shown that it has sufficient interest or right.

Meanwhile, Justice Oguntoyinbo has adjourned the hearing of all pending applications to November 19, 2019.

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