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COVID-19: Nigerian govt arraigns owners of supermarkets, pharmacies for hiking prices of hand sanitizers, others

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Monday arraigned four supermarkets and pharmaceutical outlets at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for hiking the prices of hand sanitizers following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

The outlets are Prince Ebeano Supermarket Limited and its proprietor, David Ojei, and Bakan Gizo Pharmacy and Stores Nigeria Limited and their representatives, Ray Opia and Luter Irene, H-Medix Pharmacy and Stores Limited and their representatives, Sandra Ejekwu and John Oluwagbemiga, as well as Faxx Stores Trading Limited and its representative, Adogah Ahmed.

The FCCPC arraigned the retail outlets on a six-count charge of arbitrary increase in the price of hand sanitizers, hand-wash liquids, disinfectants and other anti-bacterial products of different brands.

They allegedly committed the offence between February and this month.

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They were also accused of “exploiting the national public health emergency of COVID-19 pandemic to engage in price gouging of hand sanitizers and surgical disposable face masks of various existing brands and thereby engaged in the use of undue influence, pressure, unfair tactics and other obnoxious practices in connection with the supply of goods.”

According to the Commission, the outlets supplied hand sanitizers and surgical disposable face masks of various existing brands to consumers at a price that was manifestly unfair, unreasonable and unjust.

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