Consumer Protection Council summons Arik Air

Elizabeth Christopher, Abuja

Consumer Protection Council also said that it had issued summon in line with sections 8, 15 and 18 of its enabling Act.

Following complaints of alleged ill-treatment by passengers of recent London-Abuja Arik Air flights, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has summoned the management of the airline to appear before it to provide facts relating to the allegations.

The summon, which was issued by the Council on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, asked Arik Air Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Arumemi Ikhide, the Chief Operating Officer, Conor Prendergast and the Managing Director, Chris Ndulue, to appear before the Council on Monday, December 19, 2016.

Unwarranted treatment
According to the summon, the Council disclosed that it received, “complaints/information from the public and passengers on board Arik Air flights from London to Lagos between December 2 and 5, 2016 alleging that the flights arrived Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria, without the passengers’ luggage and without prior information.”   

The Council further stated that, “the said passengers, many of whom had connecting flights to Cameroon, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan could not continue their journeys as a result of the non-arrival of their luggage from London, while some passengers on the flights could not have access to personal supplies, baby food or medication.”

“Arik Air Ltd did not provide the passengers with temporary accommodation for transit; neither was there any customer service desk to assist the passengers in resolving their individual complaints.”

Meanwhile, passengers of Turkish Airlines had similar experience with the Airline’s Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on December 25 and 31, 2015 and that of January 9, 2016, which prompted the Council to consistently demand for a situation report on the incidents.

However, the refusal of Turkish Airlines to respond to the Council’s summons and the ultimatum of the Attorney General of the Federation to the airline on the same request, has led to the criminal prosecution of the airline and two of its principal officers, the airline’s Board Chairman, Liker Ayci and Commercial Manager, Rasak Shobowale, before Federal High Court 10 in Abuja over alleged criminal violation of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Act.

The criminal prosecution of Turkish Airlines and its principal officers has been fixed for February 9, 2017 for hearing.