Arik airline shareholders file new suit against AMCON, NCAA over takeover

Arik Air
Arik Air. (Photo Credit: Punch)

Shareholders and directors of Arik Air Limited have dragged the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, accusing the federal authorities of mismanagement.

In suit number FHC/L/CS//2017, filed on March 27, the shareholders prayed the court to hold AMCON and NCAA responsible if there is any case of air accident or other serious damages in the airline’s operation.

“‘A declaration that the defendants would be personally liable for any Air crash arising from non-compliance with the NCAA Act and regulations including any claims for compensation and criminal liability arising therefrom,” court papers showed.

The case, which is the latest in a string of lawsuits between Arik and AMCON, came two months after AMCON took over management Arik Airline, the largest in the country. The move followed an ex-parte order of the  Federal High Court.

The agency cited poor mismanagement on the part of the company’s owners, saying it assumed control of the troubled airline in order to reposition it. Amcon said Arik was indebted to it up to the tune of N300 billion.

But the airline shareholders and management vowed to challenge the takeover. The Federal High Court is expected to rule on two pending applications that stemmed from the takeover in the coming weeks.

In their latest suit, Arik directors, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and engineer, Sangowawa Olubiyi, said AMCON had violated the country’s air traffic laws which could result in air accidents.

“Arik Aircrafts are not receiving adequate and scheduled maintenance as well as regular supply of proper spare parts,” the plaintiffs said. “Over 10 aircraft parked at the Arik Air hanger are not on a maintenance and storage program and thus the safety of passengers currently being ferried on board the aircraft cannot be guaranteed.”

No date has been fixed for hearing on the matter.


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  • Frank Bassey

    AMCON itself needs to be rescued. This amorphous agency will soon implode. I cannot count the number of “bad” accounts the agency has successfully repositioned and brought to life better than when it intervened.

  • Fred Blogs

    The allegations of lack of maintenance on aircraft is indeed a concern. But this is just the tip of the problem. Arik Air has been mis-manged for years Allowing it collapse would be the best option but since politically this does not appear to be an option AMCON is the next best thing. Nigerian aviation specifically and the country as a whole is in disarray. It is not sustainable to be charging passengers N16,000 for flights. Given the exchange rate a more realistic price for a ticket would be around N96,000 as a minimum. This pricing structure will allow airlines to be properly funded and allow them to meet all their regulatory requirements and deliver a good service. People have to realise that flying and operating an airline is not cheap and prices need to reflect this. AMCON may not be perfect but they are the only realistic chance of Arik surviving. Under the old board the airline would have collapsed on the 12th Feb. I have flown on many local Nigerian airlines and they are all totally hopeless at delivering a service. They all try to run un-realistic schedules that are impossible to keep to with the aircraft they have available. But nothing will change, airlines will go bust and then another upstart will come and fill the gap making the same mistakes, a few years later that one will go bust. Frankly from what I have seen over the last twenty years is Nigerians will never be able run an aviation sector as long as they have a hole in their arse.