The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal on Friday launched its practise rules and unveiled the hearing room in which appeals on competition and consumer protection-related issues will be heard.
Speaking at the launch and unveiling of the hearing room, the chairman of the CCPT, Saratu Shafii, said the tribunal, which consists of the chairman and six other members from the six geopolitical zones, has successfully handled issues arising from consumer protection and is poised to achieve more.
She said the newly launched practise rules will provide a blueprint for filing cases relating to consumer protection.
She said, “The tribunal has started to hear cases and has taken decisions that have heralded our arrival on the Nigerian judicial scene as a reliable outlet to resolve competition and consumer protection matters.”
“The CCPT is a specialised judicial entity…with the responsibility of an appellate body to review decisions and hear appeals on the decisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Commission.”
“This singular act of purposeful and visionary leadership by the Mohammadu Buhari administration has brought about a unified set of rules governing competition and consumer protection, which were hitherto scattered into industry-specific codes.”
“For instance, mergers and acquisitions were formally under the Investment and Security Act and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. They are now under the purview of the FCCPC and adjudicated over by the CCPT.”
She described the establishment of the tribunal as one of the high points of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in his “quest to protect the Nigerian consumer and ensure an equitable business environment for all.”
She also announced that the hearing room was named after the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, as an acknowledgement of his contribution towards the birth of the Tribunal and to encourage other public officers to serve well.
Describing the launch of the practise rules and the hearing room as a feat, Adebayo, said the initiative is in line with competition law and would “guarantee a good marketplace for consumers and producers by prohibiting unethical practises designed to garner market share rather than what can be accomplished through honest competition.”
He said the Act has helped stamp out “unfair competition, unlawful mergers, market dominance and price fixing, among other activities.”
Acknowledging the honour, he advised the tribunal to keep the fire burning and stay committed to its mandate of protecting consumers.
The CCPT was established by Section 39 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018 and is a court of record empowered to hear appeals or review the decisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and all specific sector regulators on matters relating to competition and consumer protection, with jurisdiction all over the federation.