Precisely two years ago, this magazine reported of how a foreign guest at the Lagos Intercontinental Hotel was involved in a robbery incident that left the hotel culpable of the unfortunate incident. Few weeks after the incident, it was learnt that the hotel got in touch with the guest, Michael Strano with a promise to work out appropriate compensation. Relying on their words, all actions to proceed with litigation were dropped and the hotel has refused to enter into dialogue with Strano any longer. As usual, it would be regarded as one of those things that will fizzle out.
Last week when News of the People got in contact with Strano in Nairobi, he confirmed that the hotel has since ceased communication with him. Therefore, a new round of legal matter may soon begin, he hinted.
Below are the excerpts of the story as was reported then:
A storm of controversy is blowing at the Lagos Intercontinental Hotel and the management seems not perturbed of the development. The story of how a guest of the five-star hotel was robbed sound more like a tale by moonlight, but behold, the story exposes lack of due diligence on the value chain of the Intercontinental hotel located in Victoria Island, Lagos.
This magazine was told of how a guest, Michael Strano, an Australian lodged at the hotel for three days and got a bitter dose of ‘dishospitality’ on his last day of departure. As the story was narrated, Michael had called the hotel’s reception on his last day for management to get him a cab to drop him off at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. Truly, the hotel did not disappoint as they readily have pool of cabs for their guests. On this fateful, the cab taking Michael had hardly got to the Mainland when the driver complained of bad engine. He therefore suggested to get another cab from the hotel to continue and complete with the journey to the airport. Similarly, somewhere around Ojuelegba area of Lagos, the second driver claimed a similar engine malfunctioning, thereby forcing the driver to veer off the express road and seek solution to the problem.
It was at that point that about four men allegedly pounced on the occupant with dangerous weapons, where his belongings were carted away. They include laptops, phones, cash, documents and passport and other items. The incident left Michael stranded and neither could he make calls to his business associates nor contact the Australian embassy in Nigeria. His situation then was what late Fela would have called Double wahala, as he missed his flight to Nairobi and at the same time stranded.
The incident was however reported at the Surulere police station but that did not change Michael’s situation as he was forced to stay extra days in Lagos, but not without undue psychological torture. Four days after, the Australia embassy were able to issue Micheal a new Passport to enable him continue with his trip back home.
Meanwhile, when News of the People contacted the hotel, Ronke Bamisedun who spoke with our reporter admitted the lodging of Michael Strano in the hotel, but declined to comment further. According to her “the matter is already a subject of investigation in which we cannot comment on. Meanwhile, our general manager who has the authority to speak to you on this is not available at the moment”.
A Nigerian business associate of Michael who craved anonymity said the case has been reported to Consumer Protection Council (CPC) while their lawyer has been briefed to get in touch with the hotel.
In an email to Michael with a question of when he might come back to Nigeria, he writes “when am I coming to Nigeria next? Unsure”.