Connect with us


Air Peace files suit against NLC, TUC, seeking N1.7bn damages for disruption of operations



Spread the love

Air Peace Limited has filed a suit against the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) at the Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking N1.7 billion damages for disruption of the company’s operations by the two Congresses in strike action.
The suit was filed at the court pursuant to Order 6(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Order 28 Rules 1 & 2 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019, and the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
Air Peace is requesting the court to award N1 billion as general damages, N450 million as special damages and N250 million as exemplary damages.
The Airline joined the NLC President, Joe Ajaero; TUC President, Festus Osifoh; NLC Secretary-General, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, and TUC General Secretary, Comrade Nuhu Toro, as defendants in the suit.
The Airline is seeking a declaration of the court that given the very sensitive nature of aviation ordinarily, and particularly, in the current climate of pervasive fear of insecurity over long-distance travels within Nigeria by other modes of transportation, the defendants’ calculated precipitation of grounding all the plaintiff’s flights throughout Nigeria for the singular reason that it is responsible for the majority of air-passenger and goods flights in the country in order to cause substantial nationwide paralysis, constitutes condemnable sabotage of the national economy and security.
Air Peace also requested the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents/servants/privies or otherwise, howsoever, from repeating/continuing the acts of intimidation and coercion against it.
Air Peace Limited through its lawyer, Chijioke Okoli SAN, in the suit, narrated that on May 3, 2023, its employees on duty were confronted by a noisy mob which invaded their offices, check-in counters and work areas at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, and the Murtala Mohammed Airport Terminal 1 (MM1) premises, essentially, disrupting their work; disorganising and upturning tables, unplugging and pushing away desktops and personal computers used for employment by the employees, some of whom sustained injuries in the melee.
The airline further protested that “from the songs they sang and the instructions that the leaders loudly issued during the disruption, it immediately became clear that the mob causing the disruptive scene were members of the NLC and TUC, some of whom got into violent altercations, injuring some of its customers and staff who voiced their frustrations at the disruption and frustration of their travel plans by the defendants’ antics.”
The airline further protested that the defendant’s actions had inevitable ripple effects on its operations in other airports in the country, including the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, where scheduled flights could not take off from or land at.
The airline noted that it later heard that the defendants had some dispute with the Governor of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodimma, adding that to “punish him”, decided a total shutdown of Imo State beginning from Wednesday, May 3, 2023, as was contained in their joint communiqué of May 1, 2023.
The airline stated: “That Lagos is the operational hub and nerve centre of the airline operations, and a direct consequence of the defendants’ malicious and unlawful invasion of its work areas/offices and forcible prevention of its functions, as detailed above, was the cancellation of its flights billed for different destinations.
“Several Air Peace staff suffered physical molestation and incurred bruises which led to their psychological trauma and hospital visitations for treatments, with some having to be excused for some days’ absence from work to recover.”
Air Peace also protested that the company suffered a grave injury to its business reputation, not only in the eyes of its flying customers but also in those of the general public and its investors, including financial losses.
According to Air Peace, its “lawyers wrote letters, dated May 12, 2023, to the defendants, demanding that they promptly make amends for their unjustifiable, grievous and malicious injuries, but they disregarded the demand and instead threatening more disturbance and harm to its operations.”
The airline maintained: “That the defendants threatened and intend, unless restrained by the Honourable Court, to continue to intimidate and coerce the Plaintiff’s servants and customers and consequentially cause it more harm and losses.”
Air Peace, thereafter, declared that “the defendant’s conduct in the circumstances of this suit and leading to its significant losses are egregiously malicious, scandalous and most deserving of reproach by the award of general, special and exemplary damages be put at N1.7 billion.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.