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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nigerian funds transfer

No not one of those emails but this news-

Moves to clamp down on cigarette smoking in Nigeria climaxed yesterday with the Federal Government filing a N5.3trillion suit against British-American Tobacco Plc (BAT), Phillip Morris International and International Tobacco Limited over what it said was the damage that the companies' products caused to the health of Nigerian children over the years.

The government asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel tobacco companies to pay the hefty sum as compensation for the damage that cigarettes have caused to young Nigerians' health. Also sued were two affiliates of BAT, British American Tobacco [Nigeria] Limited and British-American Tobacco [Investment] Limited. In the suit filed by Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, the government wants the defendants to pay N136.3 billion as special damages for selling their products to under aged persons, another N4.8 trillion as preventive damages for future expenses to be incurred by the government in paying for the damage that cigarettes cause to public health, and N130 billion more as punitive damages.

The government is contending that tobacco-related products manufactured and sold by the companies are injurious to public health.

Government's counsel Mrs. Maryam Uwais said her client wanted a court order restraining the companies from advertising and selling their tobacco-related products to under-aged Nigerians. The government also asked the court to outlaw the sale and distribution of tobacco products in children's shopping areas, child care centres and other public areas where minors are predominantly located.

Specifically, government is seeking a court injunction compelling the companies and their agents to cease the marketing, promotion, distribution and sale of the products to minors and under-aged persons.

The plaintiff also asked for a court order restraining the defendants from representing or portraying to persons under the age of 18 years any alluring and misleading image regarding tobacco-related products
Hans Bader writes-

This is just one of many lawsuits by Nigerian officials against American tobacco companies. A group of Nigerian state governments, led by the bloody rulers of Kano State, previously sued the tobacco companies for billions of dollars, seeking to compel the tobacco companies to pay smokers’ health care costs.

Nigeria’s Kano State is almost single-handedly responsible for reviving the terrible childhood disease of polio, which an international campaign had virtually wiped out throughout the world by 2002. Given Nigeria’s terrible public health record, it is hard to take seriously the public-health concerns that Nigerian officials are invoking to go after the tobacco companies.

Frankly, life expectancy in Nigeria is so low that smokers in that country will typically die of something other than tobacco-related ailments anyway. And the $44 billion sought just by Nigeria’s federal government amounts to more than half of the country’s Gross National Product (GNP).
Nigeria's history, all well and true, is mostly irrelevant when it comes to their lawsuit against the tobacco companies. What is at work here, is a country seeing a legal precedent and trying to get their own piece of the action. I have no sympathy for tobacco companies, they been peddling their poison for too long. They're just getting what they deserve.

Disclosure- My mother died of lung cancer at age 53 in 1985.

Hat tip- Overlawyered
Linked to- Big Dog, Populist, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

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