By Innocent Anaba
Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has arraigned a plastic surgeon, Dr. Adepoju Anuoluwapo before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly obstructing investigation into the death of one of her patient, Mrs Nneka Onwuzuligbo.
FCCPC in a five-count charge brought against the surgeon, Anuoluwapo, and her cosmetic surgery firm Med Contour Ltd, alleged that the defendants shunned its investigation into the case and declined to produce documents required by the commission.
The commission’s Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Babatunde Irukera, in the charge accused Anuoluwapo of failure “or refusal to appear before the FCCPC in compliance with a summons as required by law.
“Failure to produce documents in compliance with the commission’s notice of investigation as required by law” and “Impeding, preventing or obstructing the commission’s investigation.”
Irukera alleged that the incidents happened between April 15 and May 4, 2020, at No. 11a Ladi Alakija Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.”
He alleged that Anuoluwapo’s conduct contravened sections 33(3)(a) and 113(4)(a) of the FCCPC Act 2018 and was liable to be punished under sections 33(3) and 113(1) of the same Act, among others.
In a six-paragraph affidavit of completion of investigation attached to the charge, the commission stated that it received complaints from three petitioners, Marlene Oluwakemi, Taiwo Temilade and Vivian Onwuzuligbo alleging that Dr Anuoluwapo’s body enhancement business “are unsafe for consumers and that the surgeon made “false, misleading and deceptive representation in relation to the marketing of their services.”
It said, “In particular, the above-mentioned Vivian Onwuzuligbo, a member of the Mrs Nnneka Onwuzuligbo (now deceased) alleged that the deceased died as a result of the failed defendants’ cosmetic surgery and she is privy to the events that led to the demise of the deceased.”
Anuoluwapo pleaded not guilty to the charge after it was read to her.
Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Liman granted her bail on self-recognisance in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjourned till July 9, 2020, for the commencement of trial.
The court had earlier dismissed a preliminary objection by the defence lawyer, Marian Jones, challenging the validity of the charges and the court’s jurisdiction to entertain them.