His multi-stop route took him from Lagos to Dubai, and then on to Hong Kong and finally Guangzhou, China. Picture: EPA
His multi-stop route took him from Lagos to Dubai, and then on to Hong Kong and finally Guangzhou, China. Picture: EPA

Nigerian judge orders Emirates to pay passenger R25m after 12-year fight with airline

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered Emirates to pay $1.63-million (about R25-million) to a businessman after losing his luggage, Simple Flying reported.

The luggage, which was lost 12 years ago, was reported to have contained the large sum of money in cash, while on a flight to China.

The airline has also been fined 50 million Nigerian Naira (about R1.9m) in damages.

The court was told that Nigerian businessman Orji Prince Ikem was travelling on an Emirates flight in 2007 from Lagos to China.

Ikem had the cash amount in his hand luggage which he was taking in order to buy goods in China.

His multi-stop route took him from Lagos to Dubai, and then on to Hong Kong and finally Guangzhou, China.

According to Ikem, Emirates staff had approached him in the departure lounge and insisted they take care of the luggage and claimed that it would be safer in the airline’s care.

Ikem told the court that he resisted handing over the bags, but was scared of missing his flight. He never saw his bags again.

Ikem then started his 12-year fight with the airline to recover the cash, including multiple trips to Guangzhou airport, and now resulting in the High Court ruling.

In response to the verdict, Emirates told Simple Flying that it would be contesting the verdict.

“Emirates has already filed an appeal in this matter and we will be vigorously defending our position,” a spokesperson said.

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