17 August 2018

Nigeria: Court Strikes Out Anti-GMO Case As Activists Move to Fight On

The Federal High Court of Justice, in Abuja has struck out an anti- Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) case due to technicalities.

Justice A.R Mohammed in delivering his judgment said the court's hands were tied, due to one of the objections raised by the defendant, even though the plaintiffs have a cause of action in this matter.

He said it is a contravention of the provisions of the Public Officers Act, which states that any action instituted against a public officer as regards his/her discharge of duties must be instituted within three months, after the said breach occurred.

Reacting in a statement, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), expressed great displeasure in the ruling.

It said it considers this as a fall back on efforts to preserve the nation's food system from being overturned by the agricultural biotech industry.

The registered Trustees of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and 16 other civil society organisations had in September 2017 filed the lawsuit against the Nigerian Biosafety Management Agency (NABMA).

The Minister of Environment, Monsanto Agricultural Nigeria Limited, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Minister of Agriculture, the Attorney General of the Federation and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) were also joined over the permits they granted.

In the summons, by Ifeanyi Nwankwere of Basilea Juris Associates, the plaintiffs insisted that the first defendant did not comply with the provisions of the National Biosafety Management Agency Act in granting the permits to the third and fourth and defendants.

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