A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the airline to pay the money to Prince Ikem who has been in the legal battle with the airlines since 13 years ago.
Justice Muslim Hassan also ordered the airlines to pay Ikem N50million as damages for the “untold hardship and loss of earning” he suffered by the deprivation of use of his money from 2007 till date.
The judgment followed the plaintiff’s battle to recover two hand luggage containing personal effects and $700,000, as well as $930,000 in 18 bundles of $50,000 wraps each and $30,000 cash not in wrap.
The plaintiff told the court through his counsel, Chris Ekemezie, that at the departure lounge of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Emirates Airlines’ staff requested that he hand the luggage to them for safe keeping in the cockpit, but he refused and insisted on keeping them by himself.
That was the last time the plaintiff saw the bags and the money.
Ruling on the plaintiff’s prayers for the return of his $1.630 million and N100million general damages, Justice Hassan observed that the airline, through its counsel, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), failed to refute Ikem’s claims.
The judge held: “I have read all the processes filed by both parties as well as their agreements and resolved that the only issue for determination is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs sought before this court.
“A claim not controverted is deemed admitted, in this case the defendant did not call a witness but rather rested its case on that of the plaintiff which means that all what the plaintiff claimed and their pleadings are admitted.
“I hold that Emirate Airlines failed in its obligations to customers by not delivering the luggage containing the sum of $1.630 million.