By Eric Elezuo
The last has not been heard of the ‘unjust’ hail of attacks directed at Lagos doctor, who specializes in cosmetic surgery, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju, by some elements, allegedly seeking her downfall.
Speaking to the Boss, Dr. Adepoju the noted that her persecution and attacks have emanated from the CEO of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, who unceremoniously led a team security operatives in person to close down her clinic, Med Contour, located in Lekki, Lagos; an action which has made the public to raise some questions bordering on complicity and victimisation.
Sequel to spearheading the closure of Med Contour, Barr. Irukera instituted a legal action against the doctor, charging through a court which was never served her.
Narrating her experience, Dr. Adepoju accused Irukera of orchestrating her ‘illegal arrest’, and subjected her to three days in the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti. She added that the FCCPC CEO personally mandated DCP Yetunde Longe to deny her administrative bail with the claim that the orders to lock her up were from the Inspector General of Police.
“I sincerely doubt that. He is just manipulating the system to his schemes, whatever they are,” Dr Anu stressed, adding that it’s unconstitutional for the police to detain a person for more than 24 hours without proven evidential allegation.
Responding to Boss investigation, a source, who crave anonymity, said that it is obvious that Irukera has an interest in getting Anu out of business, hinting that the present witch-hunt has gone beyond the death of a cosmetic surgery patient, who did not even die in the doctor’s custody.
“If it’s not witch-hunt, how does one explain why the FCCPC would get involved in a case that is outside it’s jurisdiction and why would Mr Irukera the CEO of a Federal Government agency personally come to Lagos from Abuja and invade her clinic with a team of police men without a search warrant or any legal backing of any sort? The source queried, asking if the commission does not have a legal department.
He added that from available evidence, especially bordering on what transpired in court over the weekend, and the process that led to the court appearance, it appears that the respected FCCPC officer is acting a script, whose author is yet unknown, primarily to embarrass Dr Adepoju.
“That’s not all, Irukera has also claimed that his mandate is derived from the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, making everyone wonder if he is not using the VO’s name in vain because Osinbajo is not the kind of person that will thrive on impunity and disregard to rule of law,” he said.
The Boss investigation further revealed that the law officer filed a case against Dr Adepoju since June 3, 2020, but did not serve her a copy as demanded by law. She only became aware of the charges in court on July 3, 2020. Unknown to her, she has been charged for ‘failure to comply with FCCPC requirements in an investigation; appear and provide info relevant to ongoing investigation’. The action, many has said raises eyebrow.
Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, duly lambasted Irukera for his oversight, granted the accused bail on self recognition and adjourned.
However, unconfirmed reports said that the FCCPC boss has induced coverage of the court process as media statement was heard from Dr Adepoju except from Irukera alone.
“It is unheard of that in a case involving two persons, only one party was interviewed at the court, and the other ignored. Where is the balancing,” the source wondered.
For the benefit of hindsight, the commission has arraigned Dr Adepoju on a five-count charge of alleged botched surgery she allegedly conducted that led to the death of a patient, one Mrs. Nneka Onwuzuligbo in addition to disregarding summons sent to her to appear before the agency and summons by the agency to appear and produce certain documents.
Dr Adepoju, who had before now denied all allegations, pleaded not guilty, and the case is adjourned.
Man, 36, Murdered While Having a Haircut in Aba
A 36-year-old man, Mr. Samuel Kalu aka ‘Akilu’ (Bitter Kola) has been shot dead by unknown gunmen while having a haircut at a barbing saloon located at Umuibe Street, off Item Road, Ndiegoro Aba, Abia State.
New Telegraph reports that the incident, which took place on Sunday morning, threw residents of the area into panic, as they ran away from their homes for fear of the unknown gunmen.
Kalu, who hailed from Igbere, in Bende Local Government Area of the state, was born and bred at the Ndiegoro axis of Aba where he was brutally killed.
He is survived by his wife, his daughter and aged parents that he was staying with when he recently returned from his base in Malaysia some months ago.
The New Telegraph learnt that the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Kalu returned to Nigeria before the COVID-19 lockdown and was planning to return to the Southeast Asian country before he was assassinated.
A source close to the deceased, while Kalu was having his haircut, said that he got a call from unknown persons and immediately after answering the call, unknown gunmen besieged the barbing saloon.
According to the source, the gunmen shot Kalu on the head at a close range while on the chair and took his phone away, ostensibly to conceal their identity through the last call he received which might have been theirs.
Some residents of the area pleaded with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to do something about the security situation of the entire Ndiegoro axis of Aba, especially the Ngwa Road and Ohanku areas.
When contacted for their reaction, the Abia Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Geoffrey Ogbonna did not respond.
World Tourism Day: WIBAT Concludes Successful Tour of Epe, Opens City to Tourism
In celebration of the 2020 World Tourism Day, the Lagos chapter of Women in Business and Tourism (WIBAT), has taken a deserved tour of the ancient city of Epe in Lagos State, drawing out the hitherto uncharted tourism potential therein.
Leveraging on this year’s theme, “Tourism and Rural Development” the group, led by the CEO, Connoisseur Travel and Tours, Mrs Joana Owolabi, dared to bring Epe town to limelight in global tourism, giving it a head up as first choice in domestic tourism.
The trip, which spanned four days, was full of adventure, fun and education, and took the group to and through the innermost parts of the endowed town.
Among places visited included the beautiful Palace of the Paramount ruler of the town, the Oloja of Epe, HRM, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun.
The Oloja was full of praises and prayers for women, who happened to be the first women group to tour the ancient city in history. He commended the women for choosing his domain as a tourism potential to promote, especially to mark a special occasion.
”I’m very pleased to have you in our midst, especially on this special day. Let me assure you of our willingness to partner with you on future initiatives,” the Oba was quoted as saying.
The women appreciated the Oba’s reception with a surprised gift.
The team’s next port of call was the office of the Executive Chairman of Epe Local Government, Hon. Adedoyin Adesanya, whose enthusiasm at the honour knew no bounds. He thanked the women for choosing to position Epe as a tourism destination in Lagos State.
While admitting that tourism is very close to the heart to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, especially efforts to open up suburbs like Epe, he extolled the virtues of WIBAT for taking up the challenge.
The Supervisor, Envinroment and Tourism in the local government, Princess Surah Animashaun, who masterminded the adventure, also expressed her profound gratitude to the women for agreeing to explore Epe to commemorate the 2020 edition of World Tourism Day.
The team also visited many cultural, historical and educational destinations such as the popular Epe fish market where they were well received by the market women leader-Iyaloja of Oluwo Fish Market, Folashade Ojikutu, who took them on a tour of the market.
The highpoint of the tour was the visit to the town’s ancient tree, which stood majestically by the road, and decked around with a cloth, symbolising its cultural and communal importance. At the site, residents, who were happy to see tourists in their town, expressed their joy at the visit.
One of them even joked at the tourists, saying “I hope you people will not allow them to be carrying out traditional monuments and totems abroad.”
Other prominent citizens of Epe, who were on ground to receive the women group are Chairman, Active Hunters Association, Epe Division, Mr. Adeleke Adesada; legislative members representing the town in the Lagos State House of Assembly and Senate, Hon Abiodun Tobun and Senator Segun Agbaje respectively, among many other dignitaries.
The first ever women tourism adventure as recorded, has been adjudged a huge success, devoid of rancour and well conducted by a professional guide.
In her vote of thanks, Princess Animashaun expressed gratitude to the women for the bringing global attention to Epe town.
The gains of the trip is expected to resonate in the coming days, surely, however, a sour point of a trip Epe remains the dilapidated nature of the roads. This, the group said can hinder tourism exploration in the vibrant area.
Travel Writers Urge Gov Diri to Launch Endowment Fund, Master Plan, for Tourism Development
In comomeration of this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations across the globe, Chairman of Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo, has called on Bayelsa State government to launch Bayelsa State Culture and Tourism Endowment Fund and tourism masterplan to drive the development and promotion of the tourism sector in the state, saying that “tourism is a catalyst that could be used to drive the local economy with a view to achieving the goals of sustainable peace and job creation”.
Mr Kiyaramo described the theme of the 2020 edition of World Tourism Day: “Tourism and Rural Development”, as appropriate, nothing that the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and in preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world, makes it an extremely labour intensive and significant source of employment for many global economies, informing that “the tourism sector therefore is not only an engine for economic growth, but also an effective tool for poverty alleviation among the marginalised segments of the society.
According to the travel journalist, tourism is one such activity which impacts also extends to various other sectors, making it responsible for creating direct and indirect employment and requiring varying degrees of skills which facilitate quick entry into the workforce for youth, women and poor.
Mr Kiyaramo, said the economic potentials of tourism, being the world’s largest and fastest growing industry, creates one in every eleven jobs, contributes to international and regional economic growth, adding that tourism would contribute to the protection of one of the oil state’s key assets, biodiversity, being a critical responsibility of all business sectors.
He said the Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps was ready to partner with government and other critical stakeholders to create tourism demand in the state, through well articulated marketing networks, intended to jumpstart critical economic trickle-down effect that would facilitate the growth of community based enterprises, which would lead to job creation and poverty alleviation.
The travel journalists’ chairman, stressed that in the light of the developmental challenges in the state, there was need for synergy and collaboration to expand institutional support for tourism development and promotion.
He also proposed a “One Village, One Product” pilot scheme to assist local communities in the state to discover their rich cultural tourism resource with a view to regenerating their cultural infrastructure, which will lead to social transformation and civic renewal, through various conservation initiatives for the vast ecological and cultural heritage of the state.
The tourism activist and media consultant who spoke to travel writers in Yenagoa, capital city of Bayelsa State in comomeration of this year’s World Tourism Day, reiterated the urgent need to develop the huge coastal tourism potentials in the oil rich littoral state.
He regretted that, though the state boasts of fine beaches comparable to any one in other parts of the world in addition to the rich wetlands, no attention has been paid to the huge marine tourism potentials in the area, pointing out that the state government could leverage on tourism to explore the potentials, with a view to creating job opportunities in rural communities.
Mr Kiyaramo, popularly known as “Mr Tourism in Bayelsa state”, was of the view that these fine beaches located in Koluama, Akassa, Odioma, Okpoama, Agge, Foropah and Ekeni-Ezetu, could provide huge investment opportunities in the the travel and tourism sub sector of the local economy, pointing out that the beaches in the state.
He maintained that the beaches which spread across several local governments should boast of standard hotels and marine recreational facilities to cater for the leisure needs of tourists among other tourism infrastructures that would boost the local economy.
He said Bayelsa Travel Writers’ Corps, a beat association under the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), which comprises travel reporters, photographers, cameramen, film editors and tour guides was willing to collaborate with government to promote tourism, through the promotion of arts, crafts and festivals, including creek boat shows to create opportunities for the local populace, particularly the youth to develop talents, in order to sustain the growing peaceful atmosphere in the state.