SOCIO-LEGAL REFLECTIONS ON TORT APPROACH TO CONSUMER PROTECTION IN NIGERIA

BY

EMMANUEL IMUETINYAN OBARISIAGBON
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
University of Benin, Benin City.
E-mail: eiobarisiagbon@yahoo.com
+2348037234478

SUMMARY
In Nigeria, there appear to be an alarming rate of cases in courts bothering on breach of consumers’ rights. Unfortunately, it seems that the consumers in Nigeria are at the mercy of multi-national corporations who in some cases have thrown caution and standard to the wind. This study sought to evaluate the remedies available to a consumer whose legal rights have been breached as well as investigate peoples’ perception of these legal remedies with particular emphasis on tort approach.
The study which was both exploratory and descriptive employed a cross-sectional design. A combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques was utilized to gather data from the respondents. A total of forty respondents were purposively selected and quantitatively studied while fifteen in-depth interviews were also purposively conducted. A descriptive analysis of the quantitative data collected was undertaken using frequency distribution while the manual content analysis was used for qualitative data collected from the field works.
Findings from this study reveal that although there are contract and tort based remedies available to the consumer, there are however several challenges to their utilization. The study concludes with a call on the courts not to be too hard on consumers by giving them impossible things to prove and to be less religious on the maxim res ipsa loquitur in proving negligence.

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Posted in VOLUME 16 N0. (2) SEPTEMBER 2014.

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