Coco Ocean and Spa, a Five-Star hotel in The Gambia, has filed a civil suit against Sedia Bayo, a Gambian-French after the hotel alleged that he and his entourage lodged for 13 nights and refused to pay.
The suit was filed against Sedia and one Philippe Andre Raymond Piere Etienne, also a French citizen.
According to an affidavit signed by Sheikh Tijan Gaye, the director of administration of Coco Ocean Resort, the hotel is asking
Sedia Bayo and his companion to settle over one million dalasi which they have so far failed or refused to do.
Part of the affidavit of Mr Gaye obtained by The Standard alleged that on the 3rd February 2017, both defendants Bayo and Philippe booked into his hotel and took a double-bedded Presidential Villa room for 13 nights but failing to settle the bills.
Part of the affidavit reads:
“The Defendants presented themselves as VIPs and arrived in a convoy of vehicles. I am familiar with the personality of the 2nd Defendant who has appeared several times on Senegalese television and Gambian online media as a politician and purported presidential candidate. The 2nd Defendant was also seen in the company of the Gambian President in France. As such they were afforded the courtesy of being accompanied directly to the Presidential Villa and the 1st Defendant on behalf of the 2ndDefendant handled all protocols.
“The Defendants did not pay a deposit upon booking in and the 2nd Defendant was quite dismissive and inaccessible. He was always accompanied by three burly military style bodyguards and refused to discuss issues of payment. The 1st Defendant assured the Plaintiff’s management that they would settle all bills before leaving. On the 16th February 2017, an international celebrity by the name Akon requested a booking as he was visiting President Barrow for 3 days. Despite the protests of the Defendants, the Plaintiff insisted on moving them to other accommodation to make room for Akon who was guaranteed to settle his bills. On the same day the 2nd Defendant booked into the Plaintiff hotel’s single-bedded Junior Room and stayed there for 3 days. Upon the 2nd Defendants request, the Plaintiff arranged for the 2nd Defendant to be moved back into the Presidential Villa on the 19th February 2017. The 2nd Defendant stayed in the Presidential Villa until the 4th March 2017.
“On the 4th March 2017, both Defendants again booked two Royal Suits Rooms in the Plaintiff hotel. They stayed in the hotel until the 21st March 2017. During all these periods, the Plaintiff rendered services to the Defendants.
“The total amount of services rendered is for the sum of GMD 1, 709, 522.45.
“Invoices were sent by the Plaintiff to the Defendants for the payment of the said outstanding balance but no payment was made by the Defendants. Now produced and shown to me marked “STG1” “STG2” “STG3” and “STG4” are copies of the said invoices from the 3rd February 2017 to 21st March 2017.
The Plaintiff thereafter made several requests of payment from the Defendants but to no avail.
Despite the Plaintiff’s several demands the Defendants have failed and/or refused to pay the said outstanding amount. The 2ndDefendant clandestinely left the hotel premises and apparently comes in and out of the country without settlement of his debt.
“As for the 1st Defendant, his passport is in the possession of the Plaintiff and to the best of my knowledge information and belief, he is within the country. Now produced and shown to me marked “STG5” is a copy of the said passport.
In a newspaper advert last week, the court has summoned the defendants, Sedia and Philippe, to appear on July 18, 2017 otherwise risk judgement against them.