COURT ORDERS STAY OF PROCEEDING IN LIBEL CASE
By Edwin Olofu
March 25, 2010 04:59AM
The presiding judge of the Kano High Court, Haliru Abdullahi has ordered a stay of proceedings on a libel suit instituted against the multinational drug outfit, Pfizer.
Idris Mohammed, a professor of medicine had alleged that he had been defamed by the content of Pfizer's statement of defence in a suit brought against the company. In the libel case filed against the company he is demanding â‚¦120 million as damages against Pfizer.
Mr. Mohammed was mentioned severally in the statement of defence filed by Pfizer as a result of the 1996 Trovan clinical trial in the outbreak of meningitis epidemic in some northern states.
Justice Abdullahi ruled in favour of Pfizer's application for a stay of proceedings on the matter pending when the Federal Court of Appeal in Kaduna rule on an appeal filed by Pfizer's lawyers on September 22 last year.
The decision came after Ado Balarabe Mahmoud who stood in for Mr. Abdullahi prayed the court not to fall for Pfizer's delay tactics in the case at the Kaduna Court of Appeal.
Nelson Uzuegbu, who stood in for Pfizer, had in a 10 paragraph affidavit applied for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the substantive suit at the court of appeal. He cited order 8, rule 47 and section 36 of the constitution to justify his demand.
Mr. Uzuegbu enjoined the judge to preserve the integrity of hierarchy of the court since the appeal court is yet to determine the issue bordering the substitution of the name of Pfizer in the libel case.