Some federal lawmakers and four other Nigerian citizens have filed a N5billion suit against Azman Air Services Limited before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, over alleged breach of contract.
In a suit marked CV/2884/2021, the claimants narrated how the negligent act of the Airline kept them at the Kano Airport from September 22 to 23 in clear breach of the fundamental term of the carriage by air agreement they had with the airline, which was to convey them to Abuja from Kano on September 22, 2021, by 12: 30pm.
The originating summons dated November 1, 2021, was filed by their counsel, Nkemakolam Okoro.
The lawmakers who are members of the House of Representatives, are Hon. Agunsoye Rotimi; Benjamin Kalu; Ikengbo Dele Gboluga; Bala Kokani and Eke Dede.
The rest of the claimants are Alhaji Rijau Shehu Saleh; Dr. Henry Archibong; Kabo Abdullahi Alhassan and Ahmed Mariya Bashir.
While contending that the actions of the airline subjected them to psychological and emotional trauma, public embarrassment and loss of legislative hours, the claimants, among others, were seeking an order of the court directing the defendant to pay the sum of N5bn to them as general damages.
They were equally pressing for an order of court directing the defendant to publish a written public apology in three national dailies, namely; The Sun Newspaper, Thisday and the Guardian, for the public embarrassment caused them.
They were urging the court to make a declaration that there exists a contract of carriage by air, between the claimants and the defendant given the flight tickets purchased by the claimants for Azman Air Flight ZQ2332, which was to convey the claimants from Kano to Abuja, on September 22, 2021 at 12:30pm, for which the defendant is under a strict legal and moral obligation to perform.
A declaration that the defendant wilfully misconducted itself, by not keeping to the time of the contract, as contained in the flight schedule at 12:30 pm, by shifting the said flight, from 12:30pm to 2.30pm when the claimants eventually checked in, to 9.45pm and finally to 12:15am, of the next day, when the claimants were finally airlifted from Kano to Abuja, thereby subjecting the claimants to psychological and emotional trauma, public embarrassment, loss of legislative time, cancellation of public and other private engagements, loss of business opportunities and loss of monies.
A declaration that the defendant breached the fundamental term of the carriage by air agreement between it and the claimants by its failure to convey the claimants from Kano to Abuja on September 22, 2021, in accordance with the terms of the carriage by air agreement.
The court is further urged to declare that consequent upon the breach of the contractual obligations of the defendant to the claimants, the claimants have suffered psychological and emotional trauma, public humiliation, loss of legislative time, cancellation of public and other private engagements, loss of business opportunities, loss of monies, and undue exposure to the new Delta Variant of COVID-19, given their long stay in the overcrowded VIP lounge of the airport in Kano.
According their statement of claim, by a contract of carriage by air, the Defendant agreed to carry the Claimants from Kano to Abuja, on the September 22, 2021 by 12:30pm.
This agreement was contained in or evidenced by tickets with reference number ZQ2332. Copies of the said tickets are pleaded and shall be relied on at the trial of this matter.
The claimants averred that by the flight schedule, the flight was initially scheduled for 12:30pm. Messages evidencing this flight schedule and its cancellation/shifting are pleaded and shall be relied upon at the hearing of this matter.
The claimants also averred that the flight was further shifted from 12:30pm to 2:30pm, on the said September 22, 2021.
The flight was also shifted from 2:30pm to 6pm on the same day and moved again from 6:pm to 9pm on the same date.
The flight was finally moved from 9pm to 12:15am the next day, and the claimants eventually boarded the flight by 1am the following day.