A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday has ordered the immediate seizure of an aircraft belonging to Emirates Airline over an 8.1 million naira judgment debt, according to reports.
The order was made after a motion was filed by Charles Mekwunye seeking the enforcement of a Supreme Court judgment in a suit between Promise Mekwunye and the airline.
Justice Mohammed Liman, who passed the order, said: “It is accordingly ordered that an attachment is hereby issued on the judgment debtor’s aircraft registered as ‘A6 Aircraft Type 77W EK: 783/784’, or any other aircraft belonging to the judgment debtor, which flies into Nigeria territory, to be arrested and detained until the judgment debt is fully paid.
“If there is default after 30 days, the aircraft shall be auctioned to satisfy the judgment debt.”
The judge had also ordered Emirates Airline to bear the cost of maintenance and custody of the detained aircraft.
The accuser, Mrs Promise Mekwunye, was a student of North Texas University, Denton, Texas, United States, and had in 2008 dragged the airline to court for refusal to fulfill her two-way flight ticket from Dallas to Nigeria and back for no reason and for refusing to fully refund the cost of the American Airline ticket which she bought for her return trip to Nigeria.
In her statement, she claimed that the airline offered no reason for its action, leaving her stranded for days at the airport until she was able to secure a more expensive flight ticket on a longer route to Lagos.
In a judgment delivered some nine years back, on November 15, 2010, the Federal High Court in Lagos held that the refusal of Emirates Airline to carry Mekwunye amounted to a breach of contract of carriage.
The airline has, however, refused to refund the accuser completely, prompting the court to announce the seizure of their aircraft on Monday.