Court Convicts Dr Anu Adepoju, MedContour for Obstructing Probe

In a landmark judgment, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has convicted Dr. Anuoluwapo Funmilayo Adepoju and MedContour Services Limited on all five counts of obstructing an investigation by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

The case stemmed from the FCCPC’s investigation into alleged consumer rights violations at MedContour Services, a medical practice. Dr. Adepoju and MedContour Services challenged the FCCPC’s authority to investigate them, arguing that only the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had jurisdiction.

Court Affirms FCCPC’s Broad Investigative Powers

The Court disagreed, upholding the FCCPC’s broad investigative powers under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA). The Court ruled that the FCCPA applies to “all undertakings and all commercial activities” within Nigeria, including health services related to consumer protection.

Defendants Found Guilty of Obstruction

The Court found that the FCCPC had properly served Dr. Adepoju and MedContour Services with investigative notices and summons. The Court also found that the Defendants’ claim of being unable to comply due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions was unsubstantiated.

Defendants Sentenced and Fined

The Court convicted Dr. Adepoju and MedContour Services on all five counts, including failing to comply with investigative summons, withholding documents, and obstructing the investigation. The Court sentenced each Defendant to one year imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently. The Court suspended the prison sentences on the condition that the Defendants pay fines totaling N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each on each count.

FCCPC’s Authority Strengthened

This judgment strengthens the FCCPC’s authority to investigate consumer rights violations across all sectors, including healthcare. It also serves as a warning to businesses that impede or obstruct regulatory investigations.

Legal Representation

The case came up for Judgment before Hon. Justice A.M Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. Abimbola Ojenike, Esq appeared with Jesulayomi Oyelami (Miss) and Oluwadamilola Omotosho (Miss) for the Prosecution while Mariam Jones and Ameda Alhassan appeared for the 1st and 2nd Defendants.

The case was initiated in July 2020 under the leadership of Babatunde Irukera, who then led the prosecution.

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