NBA Chairman drags British Airways to court over breach of contract

British  Airways

British Airways

British Airways

By Akin Kuponiyi

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Epe branch, Ademola Abiodun Koko, has slammed €15,000 suit on British Airways over an alleged breach of contract.

He sued the Airways alongside his wife, Dr Tolulope Olubowale Koko and two children Mr Adeleke Joshua Koko and Miss Temiloluwa Elizabeth Koko.

In a statement of claim filed before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos South West Nigeria, by Abiodun 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 averred that in pursuance of their intention to travel, secured personal tickets 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 statement said 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 the return flight departed Washington Dulles Airport, United States with British Airways aircraft BA216 on the 4th of June, 2019 at 6:30pm and got to London Heathrow airport in the morning of 5th of June, 2019.

They said the flight itinerary took a dip for the worse at this point and that they were further delayed for three hours as the flight was originally meant to move to Lagos from London by 11:20am was further delayed till 2:40pm.

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As a result of the above stated facts, the plaintiffs said they suffered untold hardship, which fostered their psychological breakdown.

The Plaintiffs averred further that the delay was as a result of the total negligence by the defendant, and that in admission of their negligence, the defendants distributed an insulting palliative of five pounds refreshment voucher to appease the Plaintiffs, but that they never used the voucher as they considered it to be insultive, besides the defendant never apologised and was unconcerned about the plight of the passengers.

The Plaintiffs said they wrote letter to the defendant both in Nigeria and United Kingdom and that 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 and 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 found the delay to its 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.

It said the compensation was not an admission of guilty, but purely on goodwill basis, while specific instruction were issued to the plaintiffs on how to claim the compensation, but that no time frames were specified for such payment.

The defendant denied all the reliefs sought by the Plaintiffs and urge the court to dismiss the suit.

Meanwhile, the presiding Judge, Oluremi Oguntoyinbo has adjourned the suit till 24th of April, 2021 for hearing.