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Dana Air Crash: Coroner Begin Inquest

June 18, 2012 – Dana Air Crash: Coroner Begin Inquest

The state government Monday began inquest into the cause of the 3 June Dana plane crash at Iju-Ishaga, in which over 150 people lost their lives.

Coroner of Alimosho District in Lagos,  Mr. Oyetade Alexander Komolafe, a Magistrate, was assigned to the matter.

The inquest was ordered last Thursday by the Coroner-judge of Lagos State, Justice Lateefah Okunnu.

The order was sequel to a request made by the Falana and Falana Chambers.

At the inaugural sitting, Mrs. Funmi Falana, while addressing  the court, said the chambers of of Olisa Agabkoba was also interested in the matter.

She told the court that in line with the relevant laws certain persons and agencies ought to be summoned before the court.

Both Mr. Komolafe and Mrs. Falana agreed between themselves what persons and agencies should be invited by the court.

Others are Lagos State Fire Service, 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 victims of the plane crash and those on the ground, surviving victims, among others.

The coroner then adjourned till 12 July 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-judge, the principal partner of Falana & Falana Chambers, Mr. Femi Falana  noted: “We have confirmed that the aircraft was allowed to fly even though it was defective. The distress call made by the pilot of the ilfated 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 then directed  Komolafe to conduct an inquest as desired, and thereafter send a copy of findings and recommendations in that regard to him.”

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