The Nigerian Association of Patent Proprietary Medicine Dealers, Kano State chapter, on Thursday confirmed that it was challenging the forceful relocation of its members to Kano Economic City, also known as Coordinated Wholesale Centre.
The association made the disclosure through its legal counsel, Abdulazeez Adam Muhammad, shortly after the swearing in ceremony of the NAPPMED caretaker committee in Kano.
According to Muhammad, the association approached the Federal High Court in Kano where it secured an interim injunction restraining the respondents from harassing and forcing the marketers to relocate to KEC against their wish at an exorbitant price.
“They threatened to use the power of law enforcement agents against the association to force them to relocate against their wish from their stand-alone business premises to what they called Coordinated Wholesale Centre under the guise of enforcement of law.”
Also, NAPPMED argued that the new Kano Economic City has already been sold to other individuals and not exclusively meant for the NAPPMED members as being insinuated.
“They don’t want to be relocated there because first, the facility has already been sold to some people, who are not even part of the business community. Second, they want to force them to occupy the place at an exorbitant rate against their wish and the same law that recognizes CWC also recognizes their current places. They cannot be forced to relocate and that is why we approached the court which gave the injunction restraining the people that intended to force them to move to that particular place against their wish.”
He listed the respondents in the suit to include, Jaiz bank, Brain and Harmers, and the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria.
“According to some of them, it was offered to them at the rate of N1.2 million per annum and it was initially sold at N13, 14, 15 m, which is now at secondary market far beyond that amount. It is now about N30 million at the secondary market per shop.
However, NAPPMED exonerated the Kano State Government from the forceful resettlement.
“We’re challenging them to relocate by force. You must prepare a particular place for them and this place has been sold to people, who are not part of the association or the market”, the lawyer said.
The Federal High Court in Kano gave the injunction, restraining, forcing or harassing them and slated March 6, 2023 for hearing of the case.
“Let them tell the court why they want to force them. Actually, in the 2022 Act, there is no place that provides for forcing dealers to relocate from one place to another.
“However, the recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Health and presidential committee on sales of medicine was that there should be no sales of medicine on the street and Coordinated Wholesale Centre should be for ease of regulation. And stand-alone medicine dealers shall be recognised, as the same flow chart with the coordinated wholesale centre.”