Published On: Wed, Apr 18th, 2018

Consumer protection battle: Court clears VIP Express

An Abuja Federal High Court has absolved VIP Express Tourism Ltd of wrongdoing after a protracted battle with the Consumer Protection Council, (CPC) over alleged misconduct and wrongful dealings by the company.

VIP Express

Delivering its Judgement in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/55/2017, VIP Express Tourism Limited v. Consumer Protection Council & Anor, the court held that the tourism firm has not been involved in any wrongdoing or unscrupulous activity in its relationship with customers as alleged by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

The Federal High Court ruled that the CPC had no power to determine the rights, legality, propriety or otherwise of any contract between VIP Express Tourism Ltd and its clients.

The Court also held that CPC does not hold the power to alter or invalidate the terms of a validly executed and subsisting contract entered into between two parties.

It further ruled that the demands, decisions, and recommendations made by the CPC were illegal and ultra vires.

In his response, The General Manager of VIP Express Tourism Ltd, Mr. Samuel Owoseni, said the ruling was a case of “no victor no vanquished”, as the company holds the CPC in high regard for protecting consumer rights, and had, therefore diligently honoured all invitations and requests made by the commission.

Owoseni said that the essence of contesting the decision of CPC was just to strengthen the rule of law and to put its business records right.

He said: “For us at VIP Express, the reason for contesting the decision of CPC in Court was to strengthen the rule of law and also put the records straight about our business and activities.

” It is not a case of victor or vanquished. With all respect to the CPC’s attempt to rightfully protect the consumers of Nigeria, VIP Express Tourism ltd is not guilty of the allegations made by the regulatory agency. VIP Express Tourism ltd is a Nigerian company and has excellently served in the travel and tourism industry for a decade.

”Our mission has always been to bring families closer and that is why we promote quality family time so enthusiastically. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart. As we reach our 10th year of service excellence in June 2018, we recommit ourselves to the families of Nigeria. We will focus our celebration on thanking past and present members for their support and patronage by hosting a series of competitions and giving away prizes.”

Recall that in September 2015, CPC, began investigation into the operations of VIP Express Tourism following complaints, alleging gross abuse of consumer’s rights.

By December 2016, whilst there was a pending suit in court, CPC released an Order for VIP Express Tourism to refund N25 million to some aggrieved clients who could no longer meet their contractual obligations towards the tourism firm.

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