A Lagos Pharmacist, Dr. Greg Imoohi has sued Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Ltd for cancelling his scheduled flight from Lagos to Abuja on October 18, 2012.
In a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, by his Attorney, Mr. Kehinde Imoohi of Uadia Chambers, Ilupeju Estate, Lagos, and dated February 25, 2013, Imoohi is asking for N9, 530, 000. 00 in special and general damages from the airline for losses and damages he suffered after the cancellation of flight AJ 130 he booked to travel from Abuja to Lagos on October 18, 2012 without any reasonable notice or reason.
In his statement of claim, the pharmacist, who said he booked on October 17, 2012, in Abuja for the flight scheduled to depart the Federal Capital Territory the next day at 16.15 and arrive Lagos at 17.30, averred that the sudden cancellation of the flight without notice or reason and with no alternative flight arranged to take him to Lagos on the same day had caused him losses, emotional distress, hardship and inconveniences.
The officials of the airline at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, he further claimed, declined severally to volunteer any information to him on the cancellation and he consequently checked into a hotel, where he remained until six days after, October 23, 2012, to be precise before his flight was reconfirmed after many other failed attempts. He said he had made elaborate arrangement to celebrate his birthday in Lagos on October 22, 2012 but aborted it when he could not make it to Lagos due to the flight cancellation and his resultant delay.
The plaintiff faulted the claims in the letter of the airline to his lawyer that the flight was cancelled due to weather condition and operational reasons which may have impacted on safety. The reasons, he said, were not only an afterthought “aimed at justifying their negligence, willful misconduct and breach of duty to care,” the excuse of “weather condition,” was untenable as some other airlines, including ARIK and IRS made their respective flights at about the same time from that airport on the day.
He denied also that he opted to voluntarily reschedule his flight to October 23, 2012, arguing that the defendant did it at its own convenience as he did everything possible to reschedule it without success as he was always told that all its “flights were fully booked.” The plaintiff stated that he was at no time informed by the defendant that he could reschedule his flight to the next available one, to a future date of his convenience or collect a refund of his ticket fare, insisting that the airline was “negligent and in breach of duty of care and or contract of carriage by cancelling the flight without giving any reasonable notice or reason for the cancellation or providing any alternative flight within a reasonable time after the cancellation or taking any other reasonable measure to avoid the hardship, inconveniences, losses or damages suffered by him.” He, therefore, prays the court to award him N4, 530,000.00 in special damages and N5million in general damages. No date has been fixed for the mention.