By Innocent Anaba
Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has clarified that the arraignment plastic surgeon, Dr Adepoju Anuoluwapo and her clinic, Med Contour, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly obstructing an investigation into the death of one of her patient, Mrs Nneka Onwuzuligbo, followed a complaint the commission received, and not a vendetta, as suggested in a paid write-up.
FCCPC in a five-count charge brought against Anuoluwapo and her cosmetic surgery firm MedContour Ltd alleged that the defendants shunned its investigation into the case and declined to produce documents required by the commission.
On insinuation of lack of jurisdiction to take up the matter, the commission noted that though the matter is before a competent court, the commission has powers to handle a complaint from any part of the country, as provided by the Act setting it up, just like other federal agencies.
The commission called on Anuoluwapo to concentrate on defending herself in court, rather than employing paid writers to malign the commission and the court, noting that it would not allow itself to be drawn it further reacting to paid write-ups, but will lead evidence to prove its case against the defendants in court.
It will be recalled that the commission had in a statement on April 14, 2020, by Babatunde Irukera, its Chief Executive Officer, Pursuant to Sections 17(s),(t),(x),(y); 18; 32; 123, 123-125; 127-130, said that it became aware of complaints and dissatisfaction with respect to certain elective/cosmetic surgical procedures carried out by MedContour services. Essentially, the allegations are that MedContour engages in conduct that is considered otherwise unprofessional, misleading and potentially injurious, including resulting in possible fatalities.”
The statement added: “The Commission’s initial review indicates that there is sufficient probable cause to inquire into the consumer protection aspects of the representations and services of MedContour, and its operatives. As such, the commission has opened an active investigation into the practices and processes of MedContour, its promoter, associates and employees.
“This is not a professional/licencing or disciplinary inquiry. However, the issues of authorization of the business and or its promoters, associates or employees to conduct the subject surgical procedures; representations made to customers about their skills, generally expected outcomes for similar procedures, and assurances of specific outcomes in relevant cases; responsiveness during follow-up or post-procedure complaints; and transparency to consumers and applicable regulatory authorities, are implicated under FCCPA.
“Sections 17(s),(t),(x),(y) and 130 prohibit obnoxious practices, require services to be safe and for the Commission to act to reduce risk of injury to consumers, as well as ensure services comply with applicable standards of care. Sections 123, 124 and 125 prohibit making misleading statements, issuing guarantees or statements about the efficacy skills or probable outcomes with respect to services that are untested or scientifically unproven, and Sections 127, 128 and 129 prohibit unfair or unreasonable contract terms, exclusion, or waiver of legitimate liability for prevailing standards of care.
“In furtherance of this investigation, the Commission is keen to gather additional information from consumers with previous experiences with MedContour or its operatives, whether the experiences were satisfactory or otherwise, and from persons who have any such relevant information, including about the experiences of others.
“The Commission, therefore, requests credible information in this regard in the form of a concise narrative of facts including the identity of the MedContour operatives the interactions occurred with,” the statement added.