Breaking News

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

    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.


    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

    1. O.B. Oshoodi – MOD
    2. M.A. Abu (Mrs) – MOD
    3. A. Okpe – Reporter.

    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


    Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.