Adegboruwa wants consumer rights action in courts

AdegboruwaHUMAN rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged Nigerian consumers to seek redress at the courts whenever their rights are violated.

Adegboruwa, who made the statement in an address he delivered at the 55th annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja said the constitution has made provisions to protect consumer rights.

His paper is titled: “The Challenges of Consumer Rights in Nigeria: A Case Study in the Telecom and Power Sectors.” According to him, the fundamental right to be heard has been guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

This means that every consumer’s right has been protected under the law and as such, if any consumer has the belief that a company or merchant has violated or infringed upon any of his or her rights by abusive and fraudulent business practices, he or she should not hesitate to seek legal advice from a lawyer and possible redress where needed,” he declared.

He explained that due to little attention paid to protection of consumer rights in Nigeria, fraudulent and abusive practices by manufacturers and merchants of goods and services are widespread.

His words: “Nigeria, like other countries around the world, boasts of well-crafted legal framework that guards against abusive business practices or infringement upon the rights of consumers by merchants of goods and services.

Under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended) sections 35 and 42 provide for fundamental rights to liberty and discrimination from abusive practices in any form or manner of rendering of goods and services to consumers.

These rights are also protected by The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights ratified by Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.”

He stated that the Consumer Protection Council Act, enacted in 1992 and amended in 2014, is the main consumer protection law that specifically deals with the practical enforcement of consumer rights, as the Consumer Protection Council Act is consumer-focused. “It gives direct protection to consumers by providing avenues for them to seek redress.

The Act established the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which is a body corporate with perpetual succession and the power to sue and be sued in its corporate name.

Although Lagos State has passed into law The Consumer Protection Agency Law, 2014, nothing tangible has been done to give teeth to the said law, which is still relatively new,” he said.

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