All Categories

Turkish Airlines is being Prosecuted over Consumer Rights’ Violation- FG

Image result for turkish airline planes pictures

The federal government has dragged
Turkish Airlines before a Federal High Court in Abuja over the alleged
criminal violation of the enabling law of the Consumer Protection
Council (CPC) and for impunity.

The Attorney General of the Federation
(AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), filed a three-count charge against the
airline and two of its principal officers, Liker Ayci and Rasak
Shobowale, the airline’s board chairman and commercial manager,
respectively, before court.

The prosecution came on the heels of
the refusal by Turkish Airlines to respond to the lawful requests from
CPC for a full situation report on the airline’s alleged shoddy
treatment of passengers on Flight TK 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on 25th
and 31st of December 2015 and 9th of January 2016, which prompted the
council to approach the Office of the Attorney General for the
prosecution of the airline.

According to the charge sheet, the
federal government alleged that the three accused persons between the
20th December 2015 and March 2016 “without sufficient cause refused to
provide the Consumer Protection Council documents on Turkish Airlines’
policy on delayed baggage”, thereby committing an offence punishable
under Section 18 of the CPC Act.

The accused persons were also
arraigned before the court for allegedly neglecting, without sufficient
cause, to attend and testify before CPC on the number of passengers
aboard Turkish Airlines Flight TK 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on 25th and
31st of December 2015 as well as 9th of January 2016, who were affected
by its untimely delivery of baggage, thereby committing an offence
punishable under Section 18 of the CPC’s enabling law.

The federal government also accused
the airline and its two principal officers of violating the same section
of the CPC Act by neglecting, without sufficient cause, to attend and
testify before the consumer protection agency on the detailed steps
taken by the airline to provide redress and compensation to passengers
aboard its Flight TK 623 on the said dates, who were affected by its
untimely delivery of baggage.

The prosecution of the airline and its
principal officers followed a warning by the federal government to the
airline to respond within 21 days
to CPC’s request for a full situation report on the airline’s alleged
shoddy treatment of passengers on Flight TK 623 of Sunday December 20,
2015 and other subsequent flights during the yuletide or face
prosecution.

The AGF had in a letter of March 17,
2016, signed on his behalf by the Director of Public Prosecution of the
Federation, Mohammed Saidu Diri, threatened to prosecute Turkish
Airlines in the event it failed to respond to the council’s lawful
demand for the full situation report, irrespective of the airline’s
engagement with any other relevant agency.

He further asserted that after his
office’s perusal of the documents submitted by CPC, including the
airline’s letter of January 14, 2016 to the council, “it is our
considered opinion that you are not in any position to choose which
government institution or laws to comply with and which one to disdain”.

“Your refusal, neglect or omission to
oblige the CPC detailed information relating to delayed baggage of your
passengers from December 2015 to January 2016 as requested is in breach
of Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, 1992, and a
deliberate attempt to ridicule a duly constituted authority,” the letter
stated.

The Attorney General added: “You are therefore instructed to fully comply with the request of the CPCwithin 21 days
of receipt of this letter, otherwise show cause why criminal
proceedings should not be commenced against you pursuant to Section 18
of the Consumer Protection Council Act 1992.”

Passengers of the affected flights,
some of whom were said to have travelled with minors, including those
whose destinations were outside Abuja, were allegedly subjected to
untold hardship, as they were forced to repeatedly check the airport in
Abuja on the fate of their baggage, thereby incurring extra and
unbudgeted expenses, including hotel accommodation without any form of
support from the airline.

Following the report of the incident,
CPC, in a letter to the airline, dated December 29, 2015, signed by its
Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, requested the airline to provide it
with a full situation report of the said events, including Turkish
Airlines’ policy on delayed baggage, particularly as regards the
compensation of affected passengers, the number of affected passengers,
the number of those yet to receive their baggage, and when same was
expected to arrive, including steps, if any, that had been taken to
provide appropriate redress to the affected passengers.

But the CPC, in a statement by its
spokesman, Mr. Abiodun Obimuyiwa said the airline in a belated response
to CPC failed to give any useful information on the issues raised by the
council, stating instead that it had attended several meetings with
different agencies of government in connection with the matter.

The airline also claimed that it had
resolved the situation completely, contrary to new complaints received
by CPC indicating that another batch of baggage failed to arrive with
the passengers on January 9, 2016.

In addition, reports of the
airline not compensating the passengers affected in the earlier
incidents continued to pour into the council unabated.

Show More

Related Articles

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker