The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), yesterday, arraigned a plastic surgeon, Dr. Adepoju Anuoluwapo, at the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly obstructing investigation into the death of a woman. The FCCPC is investigating allegations that the surgeon’s services resulted in the death of one Nneka Onwuzuligbo. It filed a five-count charge marked FHC/L/125c/2020 against Anuoluwapo and her cosmetic surgery firm Med Contour Ltd.
It alleged that the accused shunned its investigation into the case and declined to produce documents required by the Commission.
The charge, prosecuted by FCCPC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Babatunde Irukera, 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 said the incidents happened between April 15 and May 4, 2020, at No. 11a Ladi Alakija Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
He alleged that Adepoju’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.
A six-paragraph affidavit of completion of investigation attached to the charge, said the commission received complaints from three petitioners, Marlene Adejumo Oluwakemi, Taiwo Omolola Temilade and Vivian Onwuzuligbo alleging that Dr Anuoluwapo’s body enhancement business “are unsafe for consumers.”
It alleged that the surgeon made “false, misleading and deceptive representation in relation to the marketing of their services.
“In particular, the above-mentioned Vivian Onwuzuligbo, a 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.”
Anuoluwapo pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Earlier in the proceeding, the judge dismissed a preliminary objection by the defence lawyer, Marian Jones, challenging the validity of the charges and the court’s jurisdiction to entertain them.
Justice Liman upheld Irukera’s argument that the court’s jurisdiction enables it to hear the charge but allowed Anuoluwapo bail on self-recognisance in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He adjourned till July 9 for the commencement of the trial.