Lawyer awarded N2.5 million damages against Air Peace cries out over alleged blacklist

  • We are not aware-source

 

A lawyer, Maxwell Okpara has concluded plans to sue Nigeria’s flag carrier, Air Peace for blacklisting him from flying the airline anywhere in the world for daring to take the carrier to court over alleged infringement on his right.

Aside from that, the lawyer is taking advantage of the carrier’s recent flight operations to London to file another class action against the United Kingdom.

However, a source close to the carrier who pleaded anonymity simply said, ‘We are not aware and cannot confirm anything.”

Okpara’s ordeal started in 2022 when he was booked to travel on Air Peace to Owerri, Imo State to meet a client.

Speaking to Aviation Metric on Wednesday with a document that granted him N2.5 million judgment by Justice Eleojo Enenche of the Federal High Court, Wuse, Abuja on May 5, 2023, against the airline, Okpara narrated his ordeal further. Our correspondent learnt that Air Peace had appealed the judgment.

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He said, “I was going to Owerri to meet up with a client. I booked Air Peace Airlines. On getting to the airport one hour before the time, I was told that the flight had been shifted from 10 a.m. to 5 pm without any prior notice to me. I pleaded with them to give me back my money to enable me to make an alternative arrangement with an available airline that was ready to go but they refused.”

“I complained to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and SERVICOM at the airport but all their efforts to talk to the management of Air Peace proved abortive. As a result of that unprofessional behaviour of Air Peace, I missed my client and the intended brief. I formally wrote to them and demanded the refund of my money and possible compensation; they never replied to my letter nor got back to me.”

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“I instituted legal action against them and after months of legal battle, the court found merit in my case and awarded N2.5m in my favour against Air Peace. On April 8th, 2024, I contacted my agent to check available flights going to Lagos in two hours and booked for me but when they wanted to book with my name, they couldn’t they contacted Air Peace to complain and they told them that the company had blacklisted my name from using their airline because I took them to court.”

He disclosed that he had written to the carrier of his next line of action to remove him from the blacklist which he said was a violation of his right to fly especially when he is not a terrorist or risk to the company.

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He called on people close to the owner of the airline, Mr. Allen Onyema to call the airline to order, stressing that he would use the instrumentality of the law both locally and internationally to seek redress and to escalate the alleged poor service delivery of the airline and poor schedule integrity.

Air Peace chairman, Mr. Allen Onyema

“Anyone who knows Allen Onyema should reach out to him on this matter.  I wouldn’t mind what people will say as I am prepared to use the instrumentalities of the law both local and international to seek redress”, he added.

Wole Shadare