Thursday, 12 July 2012

Dana crash coroner

The magistrate making inquisition on the cause of the June 3, 2012 fatal plane crash that occurred at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, Mr. Oyetade Alexander Komolafe has threatend to arrest the manegement of Dana Air if they continue be absent at the inquest.

Mr. Komolafe was displeased that at the inquest was adjourned till Thursday, Dana Air was not represented. A disappointed Komolafe said: "I do not think Dana Air is represented. If you are summoned and you are not here you can arrested. A publication has been made in a daily. You should be aware."

The coroner said that the court Sherrif had duly served Dana Air with the summons of the court.

Komolafe urged members of the public who have anything to contribute to the inquest  not to shy away from doing so. 

"Don't sit down and criticise. Come forward if you have anything that will help," he said.

Earlier during the proceedings there had been arguments among counsels to the interested parties on what procedures the inquest should take. But the coroner after listening to the argments of lawyers  said parties represented by counsels could file written depositions which would be served on everybody by the sheriff of the court.

He said oral testimonies and evidence on oath would also be accepted by the court. He stated:  "The strict rules of Law of Evidence are not applicable. We are here for fact-finding. There was a crash, some people were responsible. It was alleged that the aircraft was not airworthy....We are not going on a voyage of dicovery that has no end. Let us avoid arguments on the Rule of Evidence."

During proceedings on Thursday, there were at most twenty-four interested parties that were present. Some were represented by counsels while others appeared in person. Among those who were not presented was Captain Tito Omaghoni a former pilot with 35 years experience and Dafe Sama, a former worker at the defunct Nigerian Airways.

Omaghoni told the court that he was interested in the matter since as an experienced pilot he knew what could cause the crash. Sama said he lost a cousin and his wife in the Dana crash while he himself missed the ill-fated flight by an hour. He also informed the court that he lost a brother in the ADC air crash of 1986. 

He said his interest was in the area of search and rescue as most people in the crashed plane died of suffocation.

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