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Dana inquest: Witness condemns crowd control at plane crash site

By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & MICHAEL OLADEPO

LAGOS—The on-going coroner’s inquest into the June 3, Dana Airplane crash in Iju-Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos, continued, yesterday, with a relation of one of the deceased cabin crew, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, condemning the crowd management at the scene of the crash.

Adeniyi, a lawyer, who testified before the Lagos coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, said there was no coordination as relatives and onlookers were running helter-sketer preventing real rescue  of the victims.

The witness, who said he raced to the scene of the accident to rescue one of the cabin crew, Vivian Ositeyi, who, he said her husband called him from London to attend to her plight, disclosed he couldn’t access the scene for 30 minutes.

He said soldiers were beating them with horse- whip while an helicopter was hovering around the scene blowing dust on the rescue workers.

Meanwhile, the coroner has re-scheduled the appearances of oil companies, television stations and other witnesses summoned to give evidence on the incident.

According to the Komolafe,  Television Continental, TVC, Channels and African Independent Television, AIT, were to appear before the coroner  tomorrow to show clips of the  scenes of the Dana airline crash recorded on the day of the incident.

The TV stations  appeared yesterday  before the court with the tapes as scheduled but failed to come with the necessary equipment to play and view the tapes.

The development made the Coroner, Magistrate Komolafe, to adjourn the matter till tomorrow as the day had been scheduled for viewing of their recordings.

Earlier, Mr. Oludare Falana, from Falana and Falana law firm, at which instance the coroner is sitting, had urged the court to order the television stations to bring equipment needed to play back their recordings.

Falana had argued that since the coroner inquest is a fact-finding court, it will save the parties a lot of time. A lawyer from the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Akinjide Bakare,  had cautioned against sacrificing diligence on the altar of speed.

Bakare said while it might be convenient to take evidence from some witnesses orally, it would be better for the television stations to circulate copies of their clips to all interested parties for them to watch in their offices or home and to come back with questions.

This position was also suported by counsel to Dana Airlines, Chief Bolaji. A staff of Dana airline, Gbenga Osikoya,  told the court that since government agencies had already appeared before the coroner, there was no need for the video clips of the television stations.


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