SKM & Leon Oil Case Is Litmus Test For The Judiciary

In an exclusive interview with a lawyer for the Plaintiff (Jaffer Zeghir of SKM), H. M. Gevao Esq. in the law suit against Leon Oil, he said that the handing down of a proper judgment on the matter will set the precedent for such cases in the country, thus the sitting Judge will be making history as the Judge to make a land mark ruling that will stand the test of time, and be a reference point for future cases of such nature.

He explained that his involvement in the matter is to see that investors have confidence in doing business in the country, and that in the event of seeking redress in a court of law on any matter; the judiciary can be relied on to deliver the appropriate judgment in accordance with the law. He furthered that the SKM matter is a clear case of the sale of goods law, in which a consumer pays for a product and is given receipt to collect same. It should not be the case that after such transaction has been concluded and all relevant documents in respect of the said transaction completed and handed over to the buyer, he could be later deprived of collecting his goods if a price increment takes place after their transaction had been concluded.

Lawyer Gevao stated that as a Member of Parliament, he was Chair of the Legislative Committee in Parliament when the Law on Consumer Protection was passed, adding that it was passed into law mainly because of the desire of the government to provide a level playing field for investors to come into the country and invest. It provides the enabling environment for business to thrive. He also furthered that other laws like the sale of goods also protect the consumers and dictate the way business should be done, thereby preventing any group or person from being disadvantaged. This therefore, will boost investor confidence, as they always want to know about the country’s laws and how effective they are.

On the Jaffer matter, Hon Gevao stated that he is confident that the learned Judge will deliver the right judgment. He furthered that no one should suffer because he is not financially strong to challenge his opponent in court, but that Right should triumph over Wealth and Might. He expressed so much confidence in the Judiciary, where, he said, he had worked for some 19 years; that the law will be followed and the right decision arrived at. He stressed that regardless of what people may think or say, the law is sacred and should be maintained.

Asked about whether he was apprehensive over the series of adjournment given by the Judge, Gevao stated that it is normal, as all the reasons given are plausible, stressing that he has confidence in the judge that he will deliver the right judgment in the matter, as the whole case is clear, his client had paid for his products and all documents in respect of the said transaction had been concluded and handed over to him, adding that as the price of the product was increased days after the said transaction, the company should not request his client to pay the difference in the price increase as the transaction had been completed long before the said increment, and according to the law of the land, sale of goods, the action of the company should not apply to his client. This action by the company will not happen even in a state where there are blind people. The law is the law and should be followed to the letter, no matter the consequences.

His view was re-echoed by his colleague lawyer for the same plaintiff, Lawyer Campbell, who also expressed confidence in the judiciary and faith in the integrity of the judge in the dispensation of justice. He also said that the judgment that will be handed down will form the basis for any other matter of such nature and will further build the confidence of the populace in the judiciary, as well as investor confidence.

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