10th June, 2010
A Nigerian engineer based in South Africa, Smart Chibuike Okengiri, in an application filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, has urged the court to enter judgment in his favour against South African Airline in default of appearance and defence.
In an affidavit to support the application sworn to by Engineer Smart Okengiri and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Chief Chuks Okengiri, the deponent alleged that on 14 January, 2010, he and his family boarded a South African Airways aircraft with registration number SA6177, on their way to Johannesburg.
He averred further that he, his wife and two children were seated in the aircraft waiting for it to take-off when his name was announced for baggage identification but was physically assaulted and verbally insulted by the crew members. Thereafter, he said he was refused re-entry into the aircraft, while his wife and infant children were forcefully removed after the exercise and replaced with white passengers, adding that they were so treated because they were blacks.
The plaintiff averred further that apart from the inhuman treatment meted out to them, his hand luggage containing valuables was not given to him.
The South African airline has been served with all the processes in this suit since 26 March, but till date, the airline has refused to file any defence and by the rule of the court, the time within which the defendant can file any defence has elapsed.
Consequently, the plaintiff urged the court to, in the interest of justice, enter judgement in his favour as per his claim.