BY ROSEMARY ONUOHA
About 40 families of victims of the ill-fated Dana Airplane that crashed on June 3, 2012 in Lagos have petitioned the Senate Committee on Aviation on the deliberate refusal of the airline to pay them the statutory $30,000 compensation.
The deliberate refusal, according to the families, is as a result of the wicked machinations of Dana Airline and its representatives.
The families also claimed that the names of two of them, Ahmad Dukawa and Femi Shobowale, were fraudulently listed by Dana Airlines, its local and international insurers, Prestige Assurance Plc and Pritchard Insurance/Lloyd’s of London as having been paid $30,000 each.
Consequently, the families have petitioned the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation to wade into the matter.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos yesterday, through their legal practitioners and consultants, M.O Awoniyi & Co, the families said that it is a wilful, deliberate and malicious refusal by Dana and its insurers to pay the statutory compensation to them.
It will be recalled that Section 48(3) of the Civil Aviation Act provides: “In any case of aircraft accident resulting in death or injury of passengers, the carrier shall make advance payments of at least US $30,000 within 30 days from the date of such accident, to the natural person or such natural persons who are entitled to claim compensation in order to meet the immediate economic needs of such persons and such advance payments shall not constitute recognition of liability and may be offset against any amounts subsequently paid as damages by the carrier.”
According to Bunmi Awoyemi, one of the lawyers representing the families of the victims, all efforts to get the claims t paid thus far have proved abortive.
Awoyemi said: “We have tried severally and in vain, via written and oral communication(s) to get the Airline and its insurer’s solicitors, to pay our clients their monies.
They have only through, deceitful and deliberate measures prevented our clients from meeting their immediate and economic needs occasioned by the death of their loved ones in the plane crash. The name of two of our clients Ahmad Dukawa and Femi Shobowale were fraudulently listed by Dana Airlines, its local and international insurers, Prestige Assurance Plc and Pritchard Insurance/Lloyd’s of London as having been paid $30,000 each.”