A Lagos Surgeon, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju, on Friday appeared before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged evasion of investigation into a failed plastic surgery.
The defendant is charged alongside her Clinic, MedContour Services Limited, on a five-count charge bordering on a refusal to honour an invitation for investigation.
Adepoju is standing trial before Justice Mohammed Liman.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission had in April sealed the second defendant (MedContour), a plastic surgery hospital, over suspicions of illegal activities.
The FCCPC had also in April revealed on its official Twitter handle that it has commenced an investigation into a case of failed plastic surgery performed by the first defendant.
In a five-count charge brought against the defendants on Friday, the prosecution alleged that without sufficient cause, the first defendant failed to appear before the FCCPC in compliance with the commission’s summons dated April 15.
The prosecution alleged that without sufficient cause, the first defendant refused and failed to produce document which she was required to produce in compliance with the commission’s notice of investigation dated April 14.
The defendant was also alleged to have prevented and obstructed the commission from carrying out its investigation into the said issue.
The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 11(1)(a), 33(1)(a), 110, 113(1)(a) and 159(4) of the FCCPC Act, 2018.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to all counts.
After her plea, the Defence Counsel, Maria Jonnes, informed the court of a preliminary objection challenging the charge.
Jonnes had argued that the law setting up the FCCPC does not empower the court to entertain the case filed by the commission, adding that the defence had already filed a pending suit before a brother judge, Justice C. Aneke, challenging the Act of the commission.
In response, the prosecutor, who is the Director General of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, argued that there was no legal basis for the preliminary objection of the defence.
According to Irukera, the subject before the court is not on the issue of violation and so there is nothing in the preliminary objection that can stand.
He also submitted that the objection that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case is misinformed.
After listening to submission of parties, Justice Liman upheld the submission of the prosecution and held that the criminal jurisdiction of the Federal High Court is activated by the provisions of Sections 251(f) of the Constitution.
The court held that sub-section 1(f) of the section include organisations like the Consumer Protection Council as well as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria.
The court consequently overruled the preliminary objection of defence.
Justice Liman however granted the defendant bail on self recognisance and adjourned the case until July 9 for trial.