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FCCPC duties

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) played a crucial role in a recent legal victory and subsequent investigation concerning Premiere Academy Limited (Premiere), highlighting the significance of consumer safety and accountability in Nigeria.

The case centered around the tragic death of Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher, a student at Premiere Academy, and raised concerns about the school’s duty of care, including allegations of inadequate medical care and possible sexual molestation. Recognizing the need to investigate these serious allegations and protect consumer rights, the FCCPC launched an investigation under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 (FCCPA).

Premiere Academy resisted the Commission’s investigation and failed to fully comply with requests for evidence, prompting the FCCPC to take legal action to ensure its responsibilities were not impeded. Premiere argued that a criminal investigation preempted the regulatory investigation conducted by the Commission.

However, the Federal High Court dismissed Premiere’s arguments, emphasizing that criminal investigations do not bar the Commission from examining potential failures in the duty of care owed to consumers. The court also highlighted that statutory bodies like the FCCPC have a duty to fulfill their responsibilities and that courts lack the authority to impede their duties, thus upholding the principle of separation of powers.

The court’s ruling reaffirmed the FCCPC’s powers and jurisdiction while setting a crucial precedent for consumer protection and accountability in Nigeria. It underscored the importance of holding service providers accountable for their obligations to customers and those acting on their behalf.

Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the FCCPC, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, highlighting the Commission’s commitment to consumer protection and accountability. The successful resolution of the Premiere Academy case serves as a testament to the FCCPC’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding consumer interests and upholding regulatory standards.

Throughout the proceedings, the FCCPC demonstrated professionalism and determination, leaving no stone unturned in its pursuit of justice and accountability. Despite facing resistance and legal challenges, the Commission remained steadfast in its resolve, undeterred by the complexities of the case.

By successfully defending its duties and powers of investigation before the Federal High Court, the FCCPC has established itself as a prominent advocate for consumer protection. The court’s affirmation empowers the Commission to continue its critical work and sends a clear message to service providers that consumer rights cannot be disregarded.

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