Move by Emirates Airlines not to pay judgement sum of $1.630 million and N50 million awarded against it by a Lagos Federal High Court, for Unlawful conversation of a businessman’s money, met a brickwall, as the presiding judge, Justice Muslim Sule Hassan, dismissed the Airlines’ application for stay of execution of the judgment, for lacking in merit.
Justice Hassan had on January 11, awarded the judgement sum against the airlines, while delivering judgement in a suit filed by the businessman, Orji Prince Chu Ikem.
The businessman had sued Emirates Airlines in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1006/2009, for illegally and unlawfully converted his money totalling $1, 630 million USD, during a business trip from Lagos to China, in 2007.
He had consequently asked the court to order compelling the airlines to pay him the $1.630 million and N50 million, for the untold hardship he was subjected him to, as a result of the said illegal and unlawful conversion of his hand luggage that warehoused the said $1, 630 million.
Emirates Airlines through its counsel, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN) had denied the businessman’s allegations and urged the court to dismiss the businessman’s suit.
But Justice Hassan had on January 11, 2021, while delivering judgement in the suit, upheld the businessman’s reliefs and dismissed the the airlines’ defence.
Justice Hassan consequently ordered Emirates Airlines to pay the businessman the sum of $1.630 million USD and N50 million.
Dissatisfied with the court’s order, Emirates Airlines through its counsel, appealed the judgement and urged Justice Hassan to stay execution of his order pending the determination of it’s appeal.
Ain urging the court to stay execution, Kalu (SAN) told the court though his client, could pay the money to the judgement creditor, but but they are afraid that if his client’s appeal succeed at Appeal Court, the judgement creditor will not be able to pay back the money.
He said: “we found out that the judgement sum is huge and th judgement creditor doesn’t have the capacity at moment to refund that sum, this we call for variation before the exhaustion of judicial processes.
“We urge the court to hold that the balance and if our appeal succeed, can he pay Bank the money? I urge the court to order him to show us guarrattee that he can pay the money and a declaration for his livelihood”.
Responding to the airlines application, the Businessman through his counse, Chief Chris Ekemezie and Anayo Alpheus Mbah, urged the court to dismiss Emirate Airlines’ application for stay and to make an order compelling it to pay the judgement sum into the Court’s account, pending the determination of the appeal filed by the airlines.
The businessman’s counsel while citing section 32 of the rule of the court, asked the court to order the airlines to deposit the judgement sum in the Federal High Court’s account, pending the determination of the appeal.
He also told the court that the issue that his client should make an undertaken is not applicable. While added that the airlines’ further affidavit was out of time.
He also told the court that the airlines’ further affidavit arguments are legal opinion, which is an offence to section 115 of the Evidence Act.
He therefore urged the court to strike out the airlines’ application for stay on judgement sum, for been unconvincing and order it to pay the money into the Court’s account.
Delivering ruling on the applications today, Justice Hassan, dismissed the airline application for stay for lacking in merit.
In dismissing the application, Justice Hassan held that: “the application has not satisfy the conditions to make the court to exercise it’s discretion in it’s favour for granting the application.
“Consequently, the application is lacking in merit and same is accordingly dismissed”.