Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Professor of Law and former Director General of the Nigeria Institute of Advance Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), has adduced reasons why he led a consortium of legal experts to file a $200 billion class action suit against the Peoples Republic of China over the effects of the coronavirus pandemic effect on Nigerians.
In the said suit currently pending before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the claimants are demanding $200 billion as damages for the “loss of lives, economic strangulation, trauma, hardship, social disorientation, mental torture and disruption of normal daily existence of people in Nigeria.”
Others joined as defendants are the Communist Party of China; the Minister of Justice China; Minister in charge of the National Health commission; National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China; Chinese Academy of Sciences; Wuhan Institute of Virology and Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Azinge whose law firm is championing the action as the lead counsel has however lamented that the Chinese government has refused to accept the court summons on the matter including it’s Embassy in Nigeria.
Regardless, the current current member of the Commonwealth Arbitral Tribunal London, representing Nigeria and Africa, told Daily Sun that the were confident to get justice at the end of the day.
“We view with a lot of regrets the pattern of events, we researched into the happenings in WUHAN Institute of Virology and we followed the whole process of the interaction between China and World Health Organization (WHO) at different times and we came to this inescapable conclusions that China did not do what they were supposed to do at the right time.
“And there were a lot of non disclosure of information and they were negligent in the way and manner they handle the issue and they allowed the virus to also spread to other parts of the world because they do not lockdown WUHAN when they were supposed to.
“Having viewed all these, and coming to this inescapable conclusions that Nigeria was badly affected by that negligent conduct on the part of China, and also bearing in mind, that pandemic is still very much with us and instead of abating, it is still spiking the more, that we have suffered incalculable loss, including deaths, among other inflictions, we opted for going to court.”