While her reign lasted, Dr. Anu Adepoju’s clinic in Lagos was the place to be for cosmetic surgery. Ladies stormed the place for liposuction, hips, butt and breast enlargement. Suddenly, stories of badly done surgeries started emerging. At a point, a lady allegedly died after a cosmetic surgery in the clinic. Thereafter, the clinic was shut and Anu arraigned in court. Is she guilty as charged? Ferdinand Ekechukwu digs in
“I am Dr. Adepoju Anuoluwapo, a graduate of University of Lagos College of Medicine Class of 2015. I am a fully registered member of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and a graduate member of Nigeria Medical Association; also, a Physician member of American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery,” she tersely, albeit steadily, introduces herself as she opened up on her war with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and an online blog who she accused of blackmail.
In a video which appeared online, the embattled doctor who operates as Dr. Anu, claimed officials of the FCCPC, following petition of acts of medical misconducts against her, had broken into her Lagos-based cosmetic hospital at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. “They actually broke the gate, broke the door, went upstairs, broke the door upstairs, took video, took pictures of my theatre, carted away with things. So I cried out to the association – Nigerian Medical Association – and they wrote officially to FCCPC that they do not have any business with medical facilities.
“And that they also introduced me, officially to the commission that I’m a doctor. Because what they have there said I wasn’t a doctor.” She further addressed the controversies trailing her.
In the video, she spoke on how she was falsely represented in the media due to her profession which does not allow her share details. The doctor debunked claims that she uses her patients for rituals and accused the owner of a popular blog of requesting for N2 million naira so as to support her and stop writing exaggerated lies about her.
Now for those who may not know, the subject, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju runs a medical facility which lately has been enmeshed in controversies of botched cosmetic surgeries, and in some cases, death allegedly from complications of the surgeries. Popularly known as Dr. Anu Fella or Sisi Anu, her outfit, Med Contour carries out cosmetic surgeries like liposuction hips, butt enlargement and breast augmentation, has been called out a number of times.
At the centre of her controversies, and in each episode, her seeming boldness postures her readiness to go headlong with the aggrieved friends and allies of the women who patronize her clinic for body enhancement procedures. In what appears to be the aftermath of a botched surgery in 2019, the doctor was arrested and taken to Panti Police Station for questioning but was later released under controversial circumstances. In fact, it was widely reported that she shut her facility last year and went underground, after “killing” a beauty queen due to complications of a failed surgery.
A friend of the deceased had claimed that Dr. Anu conducted the surgery on the late beauty queen same year she graduated from medical school and started her internship. But just a month after her release, Dr. Anu Fella re-opened Med Contour clinic, released spiteful statements on her social media handle, absolving herself of any wrongdoing, claimed victimization and blamed LUTH for killing her clients since in her own understanding, they fail to manage the patients who suffered complications of the cosmetic surgery she performed on them.
That particular incident would open a can of worms for Dr. Anu, giving way to outrage and series of complaints leading up to her recent arrest on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Her trial kicked off on July 3. The medical doctor was dragged before the court by the FCCPC over allegations that the cosmetic surgery carried out by her led to the death of one Mrs. Nneka Miriam Barbra Onwuzuligbo. The agency accused her of obstructing investigation of the case.
The agency also accused her of disregarding several directives to her to appear before the agency and produce certain documents. Back in April, the FCCPC had shut her clinic. The agency initiated investigations of the clinic after receiving petitions against her. According to the charge sheet, “Dr. Anu, without sufficient cause, failed or refused to appear before the FCCPC in compliance with the Commission’s Summons dated 15th day of April 2020.”
Dr. Anu was also accused of making false claims about her services to prospective clients. In a six-paragraph affidavit of completion of investigation attached to the charge sheet, the commission through its counsel, Babatunde Irukera, said it received complaints against Dr. Anu from one Marlene Oluwakemi, Taiwo Temilade, and Vivian Onwuzuligbo that Dr. Anu’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 relation 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. Dr. Anu pleaded not guilty to the five counts. The presiding judge Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi then granted her bail on self-recognisance in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjourned the case till July 9 for the commencement of trial.
In retrospect however, not a few have questioned her reputation over the integrity of her practice as a cosmetics surgeon. Although the kinds of surgeries she conducts are elective, looking at her education and qualification, how does an alleged 2016 graduate amass the skill needed to perform cosmetic surgery on women between 2016 and 2019 (the year of her first known complication)? Was she truly certified by the American College of Surgeons? Which organization in Nigeria certified her to practice as a plastic/cosmetic surgeon? Is she registered with NAPRAS (National Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons) Nigeria?
It behooves the relevant authorities and professional medical bodies and associations to speak up before unsuspecting women become statistics of quackery. A concerned medical doctor, who claimed to know her personally, alleged: “I was in LUTH the same period with Dr. Anu and this babe finished 2016/2017. How she’s already a plastic surgeon is beyond me. In 3 years, she has done house job, undergone residency for surgery (3 years or so) and another residency for plastic surgery, how? She didn’t even finish internship before she opened Medcontour Clinic”.
The doctor noted further: “Yes, she is a doctor quite alright, but Anu’s qualifications as a plastic surgeon or any surgeon at all is a big lie. Anu is not a specialist; in fact, she should go and complete her internship at LUTH. Anu Fella’s case shows the corruption and rot in Nigeria’s medical system”.
In recent times, more women have taken to social media to call out Dr Anu for the adverse effects of the cosmetic surgery she had done on people. In March 2020, a social media user @omohtee who was identified as Omotola took to social media to tell the world about the surgery she undergone through Dr. Anu and the complications she suffered from it.
Dr. Anu in her response, summed her patient’s symptoms and concerns as Body Dysmorphia – a mental illness characterised by an obsessive need to fix’ even a seeming perfect body. But the problem with the Dr. Anu’s submission, as somebody pointed out, is that it obvious to her that her returning client did not need any more work done, and she still went ahead to carry out the surgery regardless.
It didn’t end there. Some weeks after the backlash, Omohtee surfaced online with claims that Dr. Anu arrested her for dragging her on social media and made the police to force her to sign an undertaking not to speak or post about her alleged experience with the “failed plastic surgery” on social media.
That was the last heard of Omohtee after she posted, “I have signed undertaking that I won’t say anything about her on social media again, which I didn’t even do after my viral video. It was the new girl’s video that’s made her trend again. They dialed one man number on my phone (the gist lover person) thinking I have it saved. I collected mad insults and bullying today upon all my pictures I showed them and even letter from the hospital. I’m still receiving treatment.”
In June 2020, just few weeks after that, one Omotola took to the social media to say that she was afraid for her life following a ‘botched’ cosmetic surgery carried out by Dr. Anu. . .
Another woman who simply identifies herself as “Vick” has also cried out in a viral video following the challenges she’s been facing after a cosmetic breast surgery that Dr. Anu allegedly performed on her. Vick said she suffered complications shortly after the surgery for which she paid over N1.6m. After making a complaint of having a “reddish sign” on her left breast, she said she was placed on an injection which continued for four weeks.
However, her complaints persisted and it was found that she had abscess in both of her breasts, following which she had to have the abscesses drained off, but her troubles were far from over as the problem kept reoccurring. Vick in the now viral video lamented in an emotion-laden voice that she spent all she had on the surgical process at Med Contour. She revealed she is currently at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where doctors will again drain off the abscesses in her breasts.
Friends of Dr. Anu are also fighting for her. One of them remarked on Tuesday: “How else can we explain why the FCCPC would get involved in a case that is outside its jurisdiction? Why would Mr. Irukera, the CEO of the agency personally come to Lagos from Abuja and invade Dr. Anu’s clinic with a team of policemen without a search warrant or any legal backing of any sort? Why does he appear to have an obsessive interest in Dr Anu’s case? In whose interest is he hell bent on circumventing the law just to embarrass Dr. Anu?
“Irukera charges against Dr Anu since June 3, 2020 and did not serve her a copy as demanded by law. She only became aware of the charges in court on July 3, 2020. He was duly scolded by Justice Liman for failure to duly and properly serve Dr. Anu before the beginning of trial.
Before Dr. Anu was arraigned, Irukera went ahead to give the press uncertified court copies of proof of evidence and affidavit of completion of investigation, making himself the regulator, enforcer, investigator, prosecutor and judge in this case.”
Meanwhile, LUTH has asked the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel to investigate Dr. Anu following the botched cosmetic surgery performed by her on Miss Nneka Onwuzuligbo. The management of LUTH accused Dr. Anu of professional misconduct following the death of one Miss Onwuzuligbo, “who developed complications after cosmetic surgery at Dr Anu’s facility before dying at LUTH, after which Dr. Anu tried to extricate herself by blaming LUTH for her death.”
In a petition dated June 11, 2020, and signed by LUTH’s Director of Legal Services, O. O. Olajide, the hospital said Nneka was brought to its hospital with severe respiratory distress and septicaemia with infected surgical wounds.