Top Nigerian hospitality company, VIP Express Tourism Limited, has dismissed the latest order by the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, compelling it to within 30 days pay some of its aggrieved customers 25 million naira over contract misunderstanding, saying the order was prejudice in all its form.
It would be recalled that some aggrieved customers who voluntarily signed a written agreement with the company and are yet to fulfill their end of the contractual obligations had dragged it to the CPC, seeking the refund of their money.
But the company had dragged both the CPC and the customers to court for infringing on the fundamental rights of the company and her employees occasioned by acts of CPC and others owing to the non-refund of monies based on the terms of the contract between the parties. The company had argued that VIP Express may have spent chunk of the money paid by such customer in advance for accommodation and logistics arrangements for such customer.
In a statement issued by the company’s management, and signed by one of its top Directors, Isaac Omagbemi, it said that CPC’s order amounts to contempt of court and was targeted at influencing and undermining the decision of the court that has since commenced hearing on the matter. It argued that it’s absolutely out of place for the council to be ordering it to pay the aggrieved customers when it’s currently in court over the same matter.
The company said, “How can the CPC be the judge in its own case? The matter in question is currently being addressed in court, and will amount to extreme prejudice and usurpation of the powers of the court for the same CPC to be awarding the aggrieved customers 25 million naira. What is beyond us, therefore, is why the council could not wait for court’s judgment before issuing out this order.
“It’s therefore, incomprehensible for CPC to be giving us guidelines on what should contain or not in our contract, even in a business that an individual gets involved at his or her own volition.
“We urge all our customers and partners to ignore the CPC order as our team of lawyers are on top of the situation. They will advise us appropriately and further actions will be taken.
“We want to state that we respect and value the commitment and patronage of customers, and will continue to ensure that we will never renege in whatever agreement we keep with them, hence they should discountenance the bad publicity perpetrated by some mischief makers whose interest is to bring down a company that had rendered selfless services to the people and carried out social responsibility projects across the country.
Berating the order of the CPC, the company further avowed that, “the action of the CPC is clearly not healthy for investments and investors as many who are interested in investing in a related business may be discouraged even at a time the country is grappling with recession.
“VIP Express cannot be cowed or intimidated by the latest order and will continue to do its business to the satisfaction of its teeming customers who, despite the ongoing campaign of calumny to denigrate the company have continued to enjoy the best services we render.
“We are also not oblivion of the deep knowledge and understanding of our customers in the business they transact with us, despite the ongoing campaign, and we urge them to disregard the CPC order.”