By Onozure Dania & Oghene Omonisa
LAGOS – WITH worldwide concerns over the crash of its flight MS804 on Thursday, with 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board feared killed, there appears to be more reasons why EgyptAir has to worry.
The case of a 17-year-old Nigerian medical student, Joshua Adekunle-AbdulAzeez came up same Thursday in Lagos where he filed a N500 million suit before a Federal High Court against the airline which wrongly routed him to Moldova, instead of Ukraine, where he schools.
Adekunle-AbdulAzeez, a minor, filed the suit through his next of kin, Favour Anire-Gbenebichie, who happens to be his mother. He is seeking reliefs from the defendant in the sum of N500 million as general damages; the sum of N373,891 as special damages, being the cost of the full economy return ticket which the claimant had purchased from the defendant and which he was prevented from using.
Others were the sum of 790 Euros or its naira equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate, as special damages, being the cost of additional one-way economy ticket from Istanbul to Kiev which the claimant’s mother purchased after he was deported to Turkey from Moldova; the sum of 160,341 Indian rupees or its naira equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate, as special damages, being the value of the electronic appliances removed from the claimant’s damaged suitcase as a result of the defendant’s recklessness in the course of his four-day ordeal.
Adekunle-AbdulAzeez is also asking for the sum of $1,721.74 or its naira equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate, as special damages, being the value of lost items from the claimant’s missing and damaged suitcases as a result of the defendant’s recklessness, and the claimant’s counsel’s legal fees.
At the hearing on Thursday, before Justice C. A. Obiozor, the matter could not go on as the claimant’s counsel, Mr Godwin Omoaka, sought an adjournment pending when the claimant would be in Nigeria to give evidence before the court. However, Justice Obiozor adjourned the matter till June 27 and July 4, for further proceedings.
Statement of claim
The claimant in his statement of claim said that on August 15, 2014, he and his mother had gone to the defendant’s office at 22B Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos to book a passenger ticket from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to Borispol International Airport, Kiev, Ukraine in order for him to return to school to continue his studies at Dnepropetrovsk Medical Academy, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
But on arriving at the defendant’s office, he and his mother met one Tony Nzam who identified himself as the defendant’s ticketing agent, and after much discussion with the defendant on the claimant’s proposed trip to Ukraine with the ticketing agent and examining the options available, the claimant then requested to purchase a full economy return ticket for a flight from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to Borispol International Airport, Kiev.
However, Nzam explained to the claimant and his mother that his trip which was expected to terminate at Bristol International Airport, Kiev, in Ukraine, would be routed from Lagos, Nigeria to Cairo, Egypt; from Egypt to Istanbul, Turkey; and then from Istanbul, Turkey to Kiev, Ukraine. After the explanation of the defendant, the claimant accepted and then purchased a full economy return ticket at N373,891 and then the defendant issued a ticket to the claimant.
The claimant averred that upon a review of the ticket while still at the defendant’s office, he and his mother noticed that the international airport code indicated on his travel itinerary as “KIV” and Chisinau International Airport indicated on his ticket was irregular and unfamiliar as it was different from the airport code for Borispol International Airport, Kiev, Ukraine which is “KBP” which the complainant was familiar with from his previous trips on the same route.