A Federal High Court in Kano has restrained the Kano State Government and the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) from relocating wholesale drug traders from the Sabon Gari Market to newly commissioned Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) for pharmaceutical products in the state.
Recall that at the commissioning of the CWC on February 12, the registrar of the PCN, Ibrahim Babashehu Ahmed, said the traders had two weeks from the day of the commissioning to relocate to the new market, adding that the enforcement department of the Council would, after the expiration of the ultimatum, shutd own any medicine shop operating in open drug markets.
Governor Abdulahi Umar Ganduje had also reiterated the warning for the relocation, saying, “In the market, we have offices for all the regulatory agencies. This market is the only legal place where you can sell wholesale drugs in Kano State. All other locations will be closed down. If you are found wanting, you will face the wrath of the law.”
But not satisfied with the position of the government, the traders, under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Association of Igbo Medicine Dealers, Kano, approached the court seeking an ex parte order to retrain the respondents from evicting them from their present location, or harassing, arresting or intimidating any member of the association over the issue of relocation.
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The respondents in the motion are Mr Ibrahim Bako, Brains & Hammers Ltd, Jaiz Bank, Hussaini Labaran, Kanawa Pharmaceutical Partners Ltd, PCN, Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), commissioner of police, Kano State, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Kano Hisbah.
The traders argued that the N30million per shop set by first to third respondents was not only unrealistically exorbitant but they had actually been bought by individuals not involved in pharmaceutical business, who are now selling to drugs traders at the set price.
In the court papers seen by Daily Trust Saturday, Justice S.A. Amobeda ruled that the respondents must not expose the traders and their business “to security threat by forcing their relocation to a place that is not secure, conducive and cannot accommodate” the traders as mega drug distributors in Kano “pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
The judge thereafter adjourned the matter to March 6 for hearing.