NCAA appeals judgment to pay N246m compensation to Ese Falae
Justice Hadizat Shagari had ordered the Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited to pay the sum of N246m as compensation for the death of a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Ondo State, Deji Falae.
It would be recalled that Falae who was a serving commissioner, among the people who lost their lives on October 3, 2013, when an Associated Aviation aircraft, conveying the remains of a former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, from Lagos to Ondo for burial, crashed at the Lagos airport.
The aviation authority through its counsel, Emeka Okpolo (SAN) appealed the judgment on grounds that the trial court trial judge erred in law when he held “the evidence of the principal witness, Ese Falae, the widow, the fact of the case speaks for itself.
The first defendant, the Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited, and the second defendant Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, cannot exonerate themselves from the circumstance surrounding the crash of the aircraft that claimed the life of Deji Falae.
In my view, the plaintiffs succeed in their claims against the defendants. Judgment is hereby entered in their favour as per their claims”.
The appellant therefore contend the court failed to see that the investigation conducted by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) vested with the statutory duty to determine the cause of the accident noting that the Court did not consider that the Aircraft was airworthy before the crash and was issued airworthiness certificate which was tendered in evidence.
The appellant is therefore appealing the decision on the grounds: that the Court failed to properly consider that the Aircraft was insured as at the time of the crash and consequently the plaintiffs are entitled to claim from the Insurer and also that the Court failed to properly consider among others, that before that crash, the charter Aircraft had flown three times and nothing ever happened.
“That the court failed to see that aviation claims can only be made in strict compliance with the Civil Aviation Act and that the court failed to properly consider that aviation claims are governed by the Civil Aviation Act and not common law, Fatal Accident Act 1846 and Fatal Accident Law of Lagos State.
It also stated that the court failed to see that an aviation case is sui generis in nature and consequently governed by the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act and that there is no law either statutory or judicial in support of the decision of the trial court.
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