20 Years After: Families of victims of C-130 crash at Ejigbo abandoned (1)

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By Jide Ajani

He was a Squadron Leader, SL, in the Nigerian Air Force.That fateful Saturday afternoon of September 26, 1992, he had driven in the company of his junior brother, from the Air Force Base, Ikeja, to the Military/VIP Wing of the local airport.
There, a Hercules C-130 air plane was waiting for its human cargo.

The signs were ominous. This was a plane that was supposed to have taken off the previous day, a Friday. But it had developed a fault and, therefore, could not fly. By the following day, it was reportedly fixed and the intending passengers returned to the airport for their flight to Kaduna.

For the SL, his brother returned to the base with his car, in the hope that the benefactor of the family would fly and land safely in Kaduna.

Almost all of those on board were students of the Senior Course 15, of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, AFCSC, Jaji, Kaduna. The list included 104 Army officers, 17 Naval officers, 17 Airforce officers, eight foreign officers, 11 Nigerian Air Force crew and nine others.

There were a few civilians who had been caused to join the free flight which turned out to be a flight of death.

The flight finally took off at about 4:15pm.

The brother to the SL was just taking a stroll in the Base when he noticed people in groups discussing in hushed tones.

At a time when the Global System of Mobile telecommunication, GSM, had not made its entry into Nigeria, it was difficult to have access to information.  The young man moved closer to one of the groups to eves-drop on their conversation only to learn that there was a problem with the flight which had left the Lagos airport.

According to the brother last Friday (he refused to put his name in print because of the litigation being pursued by Femi Falana, SAN), “I rushed to the Officers’ Mess that afternoon but found the place deserted.

“Our mother was in Ibadan at that time and because my brother was the bread winner of the family and the first child and first son, nobody could immediately relay the message to her.

File photo: a scene of plane crashed

File photo: a scene of plane crashed

“The truth really was that even the military authorities did not have any information to volunteer.  Nobody knew what had happened other than that the control tower lost communication with the plane.

“That was how it happened. Worse still, the military authorities could not locate the spot where the plane had crashed. Men of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, were the first to reach the spot of the crash and this was 24hours after it happened.  The military team arrived another 24hours later.

“Because of what happened, when we eventually told our mother, she broke down and never recovered.  We moved her from one hospital to the other in the forlorn hope that she would stabilize.  She never did.

“She died six months later”.

The story of this family typifies what other families whose member died in that crash went   through.

Most of those who died were bread winners of their families.

Some of them had very bright career prospects ahead.  It was during the military era and nothing could have stopped a few of them from becoming military administrators or board members of choice government agencies but death ended all that.

That Sunday, reports had it that only 27 bodies could be recovered. 72 hours later, 56 bodies were recovered only for all the bodies to be accounted for nine days later.

IN PART TWO, YOU WILL READ ABOUT THE RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY; THE EFFORTS MADE SO FAR TO GET COMPENSATION FOR OFFICERS AND MEN ON NATIONAL DUTY: AND HOW THEIR FAMILIES HAVE BEEN ABANDONED EVER SINCE

C – 130 Crash Victims

LIST 1: ARMY:-Lt Colonels
1. S.A. Onipede N/2888
2. A.J. Ibiyeye N/33300
3. J.A. Agber N/2712
4. B.A. Ibanga N/3315
5. J.O. Okafor N/2803
6. G.O. Ikoli N/5402
7. S.K. Aladesuyi N/3259

LIST 2: ARMY:- Majors
1. C.D. Nwambuowo N/5587
2. E. Ezenwa N/3039
3. M.H. Leramoh N/2889
4. S.O. Yawus N/5956
5. S.S. Agada N/5975
6. E.O. Amechi-Okoro N/5861
7. O.O. Mba N/5945
8. E.J. Onwe N/3196
9. S. Bature N/6085
10. T. Zubair N/5465
11. F.U. Bassey N/6018
12. O.G. Akise N/3207
13. J. Shija N/3217
14. A.B. Famowei N/5936
15. A.A. Itodo N/6043
16. J.O. Okobo N/6047
17. K.A. Opgwu N/6058
18. M.S. Dambata N/6063
19. P.S. Stephen N/3389
20. S.O. Amaga N/6095
21. C.U.M. La’ah N/6092
22. I.A. Abolade N/6102
23. W. Adaa N/6112
24. E.A. Ushibe N/6207
25. J. Ugo N/3356
26. S. Abubakar N/3459
27. G. Josiah N/4362
28. Y. Aliyu N/3471
29. G. Ismaila N/3474
30. M.I. Ukeh N/3191
31. S.A. Jibunoh N/6173
32. I.U. Odache N/3482
33. I.E. Mauzu N/6181
34. P.O. Bamidele N/6185
35. I.D. Nock N/6187
36. D.S. Oyelola N/6186
37. L. Nyanayo N/6192
38. N. Obie N/6195
39. R.N. Nwankwo N/6197
40. C.T. Akpe N/6208
41. R. Okeowo N/6291
42. R.A. Olufe N/6292
43. E. Egoro N/3423
44. A.G. Jegede N/3443
45. A.H. Dombe N/3477
46. P. Yaro N/3488
47. A.Y. Abbas N/4221
48. C.O. Egharevba N/4222
49. F. Ogbebor N/5460
50. B.A. Anebi N/5461
51. G.O. Oyefi N/5467
52. I.K. Nwuke N/5470
53. V.S. Kure N/5483
54. J.A. Tokula N/5484
55. T. Abina N/5486
56. B. Kadiri N/5489
57. C. Mungu N/5502
58. A.N. Ebiringa N/5506
59. O.A. Ogunaike N/6032
60. B.B. Sadiq N/4028
61. S.O Gbenro N/4646
62. T.I. Adahada N/4747
63. C.E. Ogben N/5102
64. O. Babalola N/5115
65. E.W. Ekanem N/5474
66. C.T. Arowololu N/3216
67. M.S.Ogbeha
68. I.J.Raiya
69. D.O.Okoroji
70. M.A.Agoyi
71. V.U.Mukoro
72. A.E.Mshelia
73. J.A.Audu
74. S.A.Oisamoye
75. A. Bala
76. M.A.D.Badamasi
77. E. Ukagha
78. K.E.Osula
79. N.A.Kajero
80. B. Daranijo
81. M.O.Ajibola
82. U.A.M.Balami
83. S. Omakwu
84. A.O.Obiora
85. A.A.Kawonta
86. C. Otti
87. O.O.Olusanya
88. O.J.Mbaka
89. P. Iyayi
90. T.O.Ogunjobi
91. G.N.Nze
92. H. Onwuegbunam
93. M.A. Pindar
95. O. Adebayo
96. B.O. Potsha

LIST 3: ARMY:- SGT
1. M. Bahagoo

LIST 4: ARMY:- CIVILIAN STAFF
1. O.B. Oshoodi – MOD
2. M.A. Abu (Mrs) – MOD
3. A. Okpe – Reporter.

LIST 5: AIR FORCE
1. Wg. Comdr. J.P. Alabesunu
2. Wg. Comdr. A.S. Mamadi
3. Sgn. Ldr. J.A. Adeiza
4. Flt. Lt. S.O. Adamu
5. WO. M.J. Wakala
6. P.S. Tarfa Saidu
7. WO. M.J. Datong
8. Sgt. A. Soyemi
9. Sgn. Ldr. Okon Okon Effiong
10.  John Husainu Tela
*11.  K. Odubanjo
12.  F.O. Akede
13.  Habu Saidu
14. A. Duson
15. T.A. Clement
16. R.O. Yusuf
17. S.O. Oyerinde
18. N.O. Alege
19. M.T. Njidda
20. J.K. Osho
21. E.O. Ikwue
22. M.M. Gumel
23. A.A. Ndule
24. E.J. Ekpong
25. A.O. Atteh
26. O.Jaja (VideoCameraman)

LIST 6: NAVY
1. Lt. Cdr. E. Obelen
2.  K.A. Fauka Bello
3.  S.O. Odusola
4.  O. Shiejir
5.  E.J. Gabriel
6.  A.O. Ojekunle
7.  K.O. Igwara
8.  A.O.G. Aboruwa
9.  S. Lasisi
10. A.A. Amaino
11. E.N. Okafor
12. T. Awoniyi
13. P. Asoro
14. P.N. Amangbo
15. O.O. Onabolu
16. J.O. Omokhuale
17. C.O. Ochigbono
TOTAL: 146

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