Dana crash - Court begins investigation
crash - Court begins investigation.
In line with an order made by Justice Lateefah Okunnu of Lagos High Court, Ikeja last week, the coroner Court sitting in Alimosho yesterday commenced an inquest into what led to the Dana plane crash that claimed over 200 lives at Iju-Ishaga on June 3, 2012.
At the resumed sitting before the coroner Court presided over by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, Mrs. Funmi Falana said that in line with the relevant laws certain persons and agencies ought to be summoned before the court, adding that the chambers of Olisa Agabkoba was also interested in the matter.
Both Mr. Komolafe and Mrs. Falana agreed on the persons and agencies that should be invited by the court.
Persons and agencies expected to appear before the Court during the inquest include the Minister of Aviation, Assistant Inspector-General of Police for Lagos and Ogun States, representatives of Dana Air, National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Lagos State Police Command, the Lagos Airport Command of the Police and Lagos State Fire Service.
Others are the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), the Nigerian Red Cross, Cleanserve Oil, Sahara Oil, MRS, AP, Total, Conoil, Nigerian Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, relatives of those who died in the plane crash and those on the ground, as well as those that survived.
Magistrate Komolafe therefore adjourned till July 12, 2012 for the parties to be served and to enable the chambers of Olisa Agbakoba to prepare for the inquest.
In the request to the coroner, Mr. Femi Falana wrote to the High Court: "We have confirmed that the aircraft was allowed to fly even though it was defective. The distress call made by the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft several minutes before the crash was ignored by the airport authorities while the management of the disaster was crude as members of the public had to use bare hands in the rescue operations."
Falana had drawn on Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner's Law 2007 which provides that an inquest shall hold whenever a coroner is informed that the death of a person within his district was "in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation."
Justice Okunnu in a letter directed Magistrate Komolafe to "conduct an inquest as desired, and thereafter send to me a copy of your findings and recommendations in that regard."
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