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Court clears VIP Express Tourism in dispute with CPC, customers

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The long dispute between VIP Express Tourism and Consumer Protection Council (CPC) over an alleged misconduct and wrongful dealings by VIP Express towards its customers has been resolved. A Federal High Court judge
sitting in Abuja delivered its judgment on April 4, 2018 in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/55/2017, in VIP Express Tourism Limited v. Consumer Protection Council & Anor, held that the tourism firm has not been involved in any
wrongdoing or unscrupulous activity in its relationship with customers as alleged, and consequently quashed the decision and recommendations made by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

In September 2015, CPC began an investigation into the operations of VIP Express Tourism following complaints alleging gross abuse of consumers’ rights. In December 2016, whilst there was a pending suit in court, the 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.

But putting the matter to rest, the Federal High Court ruled that 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 reacting, VIP Express Tourism Ltd said the ruling was a case of “no victor no vanquished,” as the company holds the CPC in high regard for protecting consumers’ rights, and had, therefore, diligently honoured all invitations and requests made by the commission.

While speaking to the media after the judgment, General Manager of the company, Mr. Samuel Owoseni, said 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, “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.”

Owoseni and Mr. Isaac Omagbemi, Director of VIP Express Tourism, used the opportunity to also thank all the employees who put time and energy into settling the matter. They also extended their appreciation to Edward and William Law firm for their commitment in resolving the dispute.

Owoseni added, “We hold our consumers in high esteem and reassure them of our commitment towards serving them better.”


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