Torn Passport: Egypt Air admits error, to pay compensation to Joshua Kunle Abdul-Azeez, Nigerian medical student studying in Ukraine
ABUJA-The management of Egypt Air, which
was accused of maltreatment and wrongful deportation of a Nigerian
medical student, Joshua Kunle Abdul-Azeez, studying in Ukraine and
tearing his Nigerian international passport has admitted making a
mistake and offered to compensate the student.
This followed an intervention by the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora.
received a complaint filed against Egypt Air, the committee, led by
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa yesterday met with representatives of the
Airline on circumstances surrounding the alleged negligence, harassment
and deportation of the complainant back to Nigeria aboard EgyptAir.
It will be recalled that Saturday Vanguard
had exclusively reported how Mr Abdulazeez was detained two Saturdays
ago, starved for four days and his passport torn to shreds.
to Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (APC, Lagos), “the error of not ascertaining
the final destination of the complainant from his ticket was that of
''If you are going
to London for instance, your final destination must be known before your
visa is approved or before air ticket would be accepted by airline
operators,'' she said.
She added that ''ours is that, once a Nigerian is ill-treated anywhere in the world, we must make sure that justice is done''.
the issues in perspective, legal representative of Egypt Air, Robert
Clarke (SAN), told the Committee that though the incident of
maltreatment and harassment as reported did not occur while the
complainant was still in the physical custody of Egypt Air, the issue of
negligence arising from wrong routing of his destination in the ticket
was a mistake his clients cannot deny.
said, ''although, my clients made a mistake when his ticket was being
routed which had to do with the exchange between Egypt Air and a Turkish
airline, however, the boy partly caused the problem for himself when he
entered a Turkish airline that was not going to Kiev. He tried to board
a plane that was going to Moldova, that was when it was discovered that
he did not have a visa to that destination''.
truth is that, we made a mistake on his ticket; that much we are ready
to admit and make compensation as appropriate. We wronged the boy. We
were negligent and he has suffered tremendous damage for which we are
ready to own up and address accordingly. I feel for the young man for
having suffered on the account of our mistake of not routing his ticket
to his final destination, which was Kiev'', he said.
also hinted that the matter has assumed a legal dimension following a
notice of service by some lawyers on behalf of the boy, claiming damages
in huge sum of money.
weeks ago, some lawyers wrote to the airline claiming a huge sum of
money in damages, so as we speak now, the matter has gone beyond the
realm of this Committee to a Federal High Court according to the letter
we got'', he explained.
Abdul-Azeez, 17 was on his way to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital when his
passport was seized and torn by Immigration officials at the Istanbul
Airport in Turkey for not possessing a visa to his preferred
in his petition to the House Committee on Diaspora, he alleged that his
ordeal was caused by the lack of professionalism on the part of Egypt
Air which handled his travel arrangements from Nigeria.
Committee however urged the Airline to reach an amicable settlement
with the young man and take necessary measures to avoid future