The chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Epe branch, Barrister Ademola Abiodun Koko, alongside his wife Dr(Mrs) Tolulope Olubowale Koko and their two children Mr Adeleke Joshua Koko,Miss Temiloluwa Elizabeth Koko have renewed thier €15,000 legal battle against British Airways P.L.C over alleged breach of contract.
In an amended statement of claim accompanied by the plaintiff’s witness on oath sworn to by Mr Ademola Koko and filed before a Federal high court sitting in Lagos south West Nigeria,by Barrister Koko, for himself and other plaintiffs,he averred that they are family of four travelling to United States to celebrate the 50th birthday of his wife sometimes in May,2019
The plaintiffs aver that in pursuance of their intention to travel, secured personal tickets for each of the plaintiffs from the company of the defendant which was to depart on 21st of May,2019 and return on the 5th of June,2019 respectively.
The Plaintiffs flight itinerary was scheduled to start from Lagos to London and finally to arrive at Washington in the United States, while return flight was scheduled to move from Washington to London and finally arrive in Lagos.
However the Plaintiffs on commencing on the return flight departed Washington Dulles Airport,United States with British airways aircraft BA216 on the 4th of June,2019 at 6:30 P M and got to London Heathrow airport in the morning of 5th of June,2019.
The flight itinerary took a dip for the worse at this point and the Plaintiffs were further delayed for three hours as the Plaintiffs’ which was originally meant to move to Lagos from London by 11:20 am was further delayed till 2:40 p m.
As a result of the above stated facts, the plaintiffs suffered untold hardship, which fostered the psychological breakdown of the Plaintiffs.
The Plaintiffs aver further that the delay was as a result of the total negligence by the defendant,and in admission of their negligence the defendants distributed an insulting palliative of five pounds refreshment voucher to appease the Plaintiffs,but they never used the voucher as they consider it to be insultive,besides the defendant never apologised and was unconcerned about the plight of the passengers.
On getting on the belated flight from London to Lagos,it was evidence that the plane was not in good condition as the chairs were unkempt and dilapidated which put the plaintiffs in a state of apprehension on the safety of their lives on the flight.
Mr Koko further averred that,they got to Lagos very late in the night,and being the secretary of his extended family Koko Dynasty Family and who was scheduled to host the annual family meeting in his house could not meet up as he was in custody of the family books and minutes He had spent the sum of 600,000 for the occasion which was aborted as a result of the action of the Airline.The Airline’s action led to the loss of everything bought for the occasion.
The Plaintiffs wrote letter to the defendant both in Nigeria and United Kingdom.
The defendant in response to the letter admitted to compensation in the sum of €1,200,but deliberately refused to pay same.
Consequently, the Plaintiffs claim against the defendant are as follows:
Compensation in the sum of £2,120
Compensation in the sum of €1,200 admitted,
The sum of £1,750 as special damages.
General damages in the sum of £10,000 against the defendant for its negligence acts and breach of contract
The sum of N500,000 against the defendant as cost of this legal action.
However, in a statement of defence filed before the court by a Lagos Lawyer Tayo Laleye, the British Airways stated that it investigated the claim of the plaintiffs and though found the delay to it’s flight service was caused by unforeseen flight safety shortcomings, the defendant, nevertheless, and on goodwill basis did offer the Plaintiffs compensation in the sum of€1,200,Euros, the compensation is not an admission of guilty, but purely on goodwill basis, while specific instruction were issued to plaintiffs on how to claim the compensation, but no time frames were specified for such payment.
Whereof the defendant denies all the reliefs sought by the Plaintiffs and urge the court to dismiss the suit.
Initially the, matter was before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo before it was re-assigned to Justice Peter Lifu ,when Justice Oguntoyinbo was transferred to another division of the court
The Presiding judge Peter Lifu has adjourned the suit till 2nd of December,2021 for hearing to commence.