Ebosie Jideofor John, a Qatar-based Nigerian-bornÂ legal practitionerÂ and engineer, is in a happy mood at the moment.
His happiness stems from his victory in a suit he instituted against an international airline, Etihad Airline, in 2014 beforeÂ the Federal High Court, LagosÂ presided over by Justice Hadiza R. Shagari.
While the plaintiffs were represented by Pius E. Sodjie and Pekun Sowole of the Jurislaw Chambers, the defendant, Etihad Airline, was represented by J.M.M. Majiyagbe.
It was said that Ebosie had purchased four economy class tickets with his credit card for his family members namely, Ms. Sylvia U Obichie, Amaka Fingesi, Taribo Fingesi and Zoila Fingesi for a trip from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to Abu Dhabi International Airport on May 15, 2014 on flight EY 0674.
Ebosieâ€™s credit card could not be verified by the airline at its Victoria Island, Lagos office due to network failure. Hence, he made available colour photocopy of his credit card and his driverâ€™s licence to ensure his family members were able to make the trip.
However, his family members were denied boarding by the crew members of the airline and were asked to return the following day,Â May 16.
Though the plaintiffs eventually boarded the plane the following day, they were unable to return to their base, as the flight was cancelled due to engine failure.Â As a result, they travelled, same day, on another airline.
Consequently, the plaintiffs sued Etihad Airline for trauma, losses, and damages.
In her judgment, Justice Shagari held: â€œIt is in my view to state that the defendant airline is guilty of willful misconductâ€¦
â€œ I grant the claims of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th plaintiffs for a full refund of their defendant airline tickets with interest at 16 per cent rate, as it was decided in the case of Farasco Nigeria Limited & Anor Vs. Peterson Zochionis Industries Plc (2010) LPELR 4142 CA. Per Tine Tur JCA wherein stated that the principle of interest is that it is not a compensation for damages caused by the defendants, but for being kept out of money, which ought to have been paid all this while for services not rendered.