A court in Lagos State has warned Nigerians to avoid taking Vitamin C with Fanta and Sprite soft drinks.
The Igbosere High Court also told the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to force the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) Plc to place a written warning on the drinks.
The judgment was given on Monday, March 13, by presiding judge, Justice Adedayo Oyebanji.
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Justice Oyebanji also awarded damages of N2 million against NAFDAC for failing “to live up to expectations.”
“In consideration of the fact that this case was filed in 2008 and has been in court for nine years, N2 million is awarded against NAFDAC. Interest shall be paid on the cost awarded at the rate of 10 per cent per annum until liquidation of the said sum,” Justice Oyebanji said.
The case against NAFDAC and NBC was instituted by Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his firm, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Ltd.
Fijabi Adebo Holdings had, in March 2007, purchased large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and Soda Water from NBC for export to the UK for retail purposes.
However, the drinks failed a sample test for human consumption in the UK and became poisonous in the presence of Ascorbic Acid, known as Vitamin C.
The court also said that NAFDAC had failed Nigerians by certifying the drinks as satisfactory for human consumption.
Fijabi, on his part, urged the court to direct NAFDAC to conduct routine laboratory tests of all soft drinks and allied products of the company, to guarantee their safety.
On March 16, 2017, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) filed an appeal against a court judgment which indicted it for failing in its duties to Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the NBC also appealed the case saying that the judgment is inaccurate and its products are safe.
On March 17, 2017, the Federal Government reassured Nigerians that the Coca-Cola products manufactured in Nigeria were safe for consumption.
This was released in a statement issued by Mrs Akinola Boade, the Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, in Abuja.
She said the explanation followed a stakeholders meeting summoned by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to address related issues on the recent court judgment on the case filed by Fijabi Holdings against the Nigeria Bottling Company and NAFDAC.