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Friday, December 8, 2023

Elevator service provider undergoes probe over Dr Vwaere’s death

The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), alongside other relevant agencies and authorities in the sState have initiated a move to uncover the actual cause of the elevator malfunctioning that killed Dr. Vwaere Diaso at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos on Tuesday.

The elevator at the hospital had, on August 1, malfunctioned, leading to the death of a medical doctor, Dr. Vwaere Diaso, who was undergoing her housemanship at the hospital.

Diaso plunged to her death when the elevator she was riding in crash-landed from the 10th floor on Tuesday night.

This incident sparked outrage among her colleagues and other health workers as it also generated reactions on social media with many condemning the hospital management for not putting the elevator in good shape since it has been malfunctioning. Some also called for sack of the Chief Medical Director of the hospital for being negligent.

The Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also directed all doctors working in the three government hospitals on Lagos Island to begin an indefinite strike over the death of its member.

Following the incident, a team of officials from the State Ministry of Health, State Health Service Commission, State Safety Commission and certified Lift and Vertical Transportation Equipment experts commenced an inquiry.

Another statement issued today and jointly signed by the General Manager of LASCOPA, Afolabi Solebo Esq and the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera disclosed that the regulators will invoke consumer protection regulatory intervention and action regarding the unfortunate incident at general hospital, pursuant to Section 17 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act.

It reads: “As consumer protection regulators, LASCOPA and FCCPC are deeply saddened by this tragic occurrence, and commiserate with family, friends, colleagues, and associates of Dr. Diaso; as well as the larger community affected.

“In view of this incident, we are commencing a joint inquiry and review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, particularly, but not limited to the relevant service provider(s) responsible for installation and service/maintenance of the elevator or related equipment.”

The statement assured members of the public that LASCOPA and FCCPC will continue to work hand-in-hand with other relevant authorities to ensure the continuing safety of facilities for the benefit of consumers, patrons, and all other government facilities.

LASCOPA is the agency in charge of consumer protection in Lagos State, while the FCCPC is the highest federal competition regulator in Nigeria, responsible for protecting market competition and promoting consumer protection.

Christiana Alabi-Akande
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