Dana Airline joins others to quash inquest into plane crash

by Isi Esene

Dana Air yesterday joined the plaintiffs, Dele Ore and the Civil Aviation Round Table Initiative (CARTI), to make attempts at stopping the coroner’s inquest into the airline accident which happened on June 3.

Th initial plaintiffs had gone to the Federal High Court, Lagos, to demand a stop to the inquest stating that the Lagos State Coroners’ System Law is not applicable to deaths arising from aviation accidents.

According to reports, joined in the suit to halt the coroner’s inquest into the crash are Oyetade Komolafe, the coroner; the chief coroner of Lagos State; the Lagos State chief judge; the attorney general of Lagos State as the 1st – 4th defendants respectively.

Others joined as defendants were the attorney general of the Federation (AGF); the Federal Ministry of Aviation; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN); Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB); Nigeria Air Space Management Authority (NAMA); and Dana Airlines.

Dana Airline later supported the plaintiffs in a tendered affidavit which says, “The inquest ought not to have commenced until the conclusion of the AIB investigation. The coroner has subjected the AIB report to scrutiny by various experts,” it stated.

Akinjide Bakare, Counsel to the Lagos State government expressed his frustration at the sudden change of heart made by Dana Airlines calling them a “faceless group” and describing them as “enemies”.

While delivering a bench ruling, the presiding judge, Okon Abang, said “The 1st – 4th defendants are at liberty to file their objection to the affidavit if they so wish.

He added that there’s no provision which allows a defendant to file a motion in support of the plaintiff’s affidavit.

He went on to adjourn proceedings till September 13 for a “definite hearing” of the plaintiff’s motion for interlocutory injunction.

The Dana Airlines crash occurred in the outskirts of Lagos killing all 153 passengers on-board.

The airline’s operating license was temporarily suspended by the Federal Government but was lifted on Wednesday allowing the airline to resume commercial flight operations.

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