By Innocent Anaba
The first prosecution witness of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Susie Onwuka, an official of the commission, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, that the commission received series of complaints against a cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju, who is facing prosecution.
The defendant is charged alongside her clinic, MedContour Services Ltd., on a five-count charge bordering on a refusal to honour an invitation for investigation and refusal to produce an investigation document.
FCCPC is also prosecuting Adepoju for blocking an investigation into customers’ complaints against her, by allegedly shunning the agency’s summons and refusing to produce documents demanded from her.
She was first arraigned on July 3, alongside her medical outfit, before Justice Mohammed Liman in Lagos.
The trial of Adepooju, whose services allegedly resulted in the death of one Mrs. Nneka Onwuzuligbo, opened weekend.
Onwuka, in her examination in chief, told the court that the surgeon failed to appear before the commission despite a summons issued and served on her as well as a notice of investigation posted on the premises of her office in Lekki.
The witness, on her experience during an investigation into the instant case, told the court that sometime in March and April this year, the commission received complaints from people who reportedly suffered adversely from the activities of the defendants.
The witness said that the commission later discovered the true address of MedContour and wrote to the surgeon, notifying her that the commission had begun an investigation into her activities, and requesting that she should provide the document to the commission.
Documents admitted as exhibits by the court include the summons, the notice of investigation and the photographs taken by the FCCPC while pasting the notice on her wall.
Meanwhile, the case was adjourned till October 14 for the defence counsel, Marian Jones, to cross-examine the witness.
In an affidavit of completion of investigation attached to the charge sheet, the commission said it received complaints against Adepoju from one Marlene Oluwakemi, Taiwo Temilade and Vivian Onwuzuligbo.
It said that the surgeon’s services “are unsafe for consumers,” and that she made “false, misleading and deceptive representation in relation to the marketing of their services.
“In particular, the above-mentioned Vivian Onwuzuligbo, a family member of the Mrs. Nnneka Miriam Barbara 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.”
The prosecution also alleged that without sufficient cause, the first defendant also refused and failed to produce a document which she was required to produce in compliance with the commission’s notice of investigation dated April 14.
The cosmetic surgeon (defendant) was alleged to have prevented and obstructed the commission from carrying out its investigation into the issue.