Stop injustice against Alaba Market traders

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), has asked the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba to direct his Deputy Inspector General of Police (FCID) Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokumo not to undermine an appeal instituted by an Indigenous importer Madumere Ugochukwu based in Alaba market Lagos running his business under ‘Nigrshine Industry limited’ which he filed against two Chinese citizens Gaoxi Ong and Chen Xiao Ming. The product in contention is AKT ELECTRIC BULB.

HURIWA said it was informed by credible Court officials in Abuja that a now retired judge of the Federal High Court  Justice Taiwo Taiwo had issued an injunction ordering the confiscation of inferior brand of the products allegedly imported into Nigeria by the Chinese nationals which reportedly violated an extant trademark ownership of the Indigenous importer but the same judge just before he retired overturned his own injunction which made the Nigerian businessman to immediately appeal but there is now a likelihood that the police that conducted background investigation and found out that the Chinese businessmen allegedly forged trademark license and are allegedly flooding Nigerian markets with fake products are now plotting to destroy the rest of the matter which has reached the Court of Appeal.

The group said it has already decided to also Petition the foreign Affairs ministry to step in because the Chinese nationals used the China customs to destroy products meant for Alaba market from China under the verified trademark ownership of the Indigenous businessman whose right to the distribution of the products in Nigerian markets has been sabotaged by the Chinese just as the matter according to the Rights group dovetails into brazen attempt by Chinese businessmen to adopt unfair tactics and compromises to use law enforcement agents to continue to sabotage the trademark ownership of the Indigenous businessman based in Alaba. The matter is registered as suit number CA/ABJ/PRE/ROA/CV/80IMI/2022. The Inspector General of Police is the number one Respondent.

Specifically, in the AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL, the Nigerian businessman who reportedly has the genuine trademark ownership stated as follows: “I Madumere Ugochukwu, Male Adult, Christian, Nigerian Citizen of NO. 14, Aba Close, Area 8, Garki, Abuja do make oath and state as follows:

 

“That am the Managing Director of the Applicant and l am familiar with the facts of the case and I have the consent and authority of the Applicant to swear to this oath on its behalf.

“That I wrote a Petition against the 2nd and 3rd Respondents on behalf of the Applicant alleging they were using fake Trade Mark Certificates flood Nigeria with inferior goods and also chase Nigerians away from the market, this preventing them from selling the goods in Nigeria.

“That the Inspector General of Police directed that the Petition should be investigated which the Police did and found a large Carche of those fake and inferior goods at 194, Marwa Close ljegun Water Site, Satellite Town, Lagos and lya Abiye Street, off Umani Crescent, Opposite Perfect Will of God Church, Navy Town, Lagos State.

“The Inspector General of Police then approached the Court EX-Parte for an order or orders (1 directing the removal of the goods found at the above address and then the removal of the goods to another place which is secure pending Police investigation. (2) An Order sealing the premises where the goods had been removed from for 90 days.

“That on the 27th day of April, 2022 the Court made an Order unsealing the premises because the 90 days life span of the order to seal the premises had lapsed and the order had become spent.

“That strangely the Court also made an order directly that the inferior and fake goods which were exhibits which the Police will use in prosecuting the 2nd and 3rd Respondents be released to them.

“That the 1st Respondent had filed a Counter affidavit to the filed by the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in which they Sought to have the orders Ex-Parte to be discharged on the grounds infer alia that the life span of the orders had lapsed.

“That the first Respondent had stated in the Counter affidavit that the goods were exhibits necessary and vital for their investigation and should not be released to the 2nd and 3rd Respondents.

“That the 2nd and 3rd Respondents who own Aokete Electronics Industries Limited had procured an order EX-Parte restraining the Applicant Nigrshine Industries Ltd and its Managing Director from selling what is called electric bulbs market AKT.

“That the order was procured in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1082/2014 Coram IN Buba J. Based on a Trade Mark No. 96385 Which Police investigation showed belonged to NICOGOLD, TP No. NG/TM issued for medical purposes.

“Police investigation however showed that the 2nd and 3rd Respondents had forged same and purported same to have been issued to AOKETE LIGHTING ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES LTD for electric products.

“That based on this forged trade mark the present Applicant was stopped from the importation of the electric products particularly electric bulbs which Trade mark it had registered as number 99900 and Certificate No. 004154.

“That when the 2nd and 3rd Respondents came to the Applicant’s premises to sequestrate its goods, showed them my Certificate of Trade Mark and even then, they still carried away goods in the warehouse of the Applicant but they advised me to come to Court and present my own documents to the Court.

“That I then went to Court on the return date and produced my own Certificate any they, 2nd and 3rd Respondents asked for time to file a further affidavit claiming that there was a typographical error in the first Certificate and gave 99717, 99716 and 99718 as the proper numbers of their Trade Marks.

“That Applicant then asked one it’s Lawyers Odinaka Obiorah Esq. To Write a letter to the Registrar of Trade Marks to confirm if the Trade Marks were issued by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments.

“That the Registrar of Trade Marks replied and affirmed that the three Trade Marks did not emanate from the Ministry and that on the date he was writing the reply, the Ministry had not issued Certificate up to that number.

“That armed with these facts the Police approached the Court Ex-Parte for an order to take charge of the goods suspected to be fake and inferior which order was granted.

“That the 2nd and 3rd Respondents then filed an affidavit seeking to discharge the Ex-Parte order. That the Court discharged the order on the grounds that it had elapsed by effluxion of time.

“That the order of the Court with respect to the goods was that they should be kept in a safe warehouse while the order respecting sealing the premises was to last for 90 days.

“That while the Police has not finished its investigation, the Court set aside its order on the ground that same had lapsed as the order was meant to last for 90 days.

“That the order of the Court will greatly affect the Applicant adversely as both Applicants and the 2nd and 3rd Respondents are in the same line of business and once the inferior goods are released to them they will be released into the Nigerian market despite having been found to be interior fake and substandard goods to the detriment of the Applicant.”

HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said it will storm the Chinese Embassy tomorrow with a petition challenging the infractions committed by the Chinese Customs service against the Nigerian businessman who reportedly has the authentic trademark to umpire the product which are made in China.