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Dana crash: Victim’s family threatens court action

By  Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna
THE family of the late George Moses, one of the victims of the June 3 Dana Air plane crash has threatened to go to court if, after a second mandatory DNA test, the deceased’s body is not released for burial by  the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.

Controversy had trailed the release of the body of Moses, a former Assistant Comptroller of the Federal Fire Service, since the first DNA test result failed to establish a family relationship between him (Moses) and Hannah, the candidate presented as the closest family member and next-of-kin.

Spokesperson for the victim’s relatives, Mr. Achief Olajide, said the family was fed up with the reluctance by the authorities to release the body to them for burial.
But to resolve the controversy, the LASUTH authorities had demanded new samples for a second forensic analysis to determine the next-of –kin and pedigree of the victim.
According to Olajide, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard in Lagos, yesterday, the fresh set of samples for the test were collected last week from all those who participated in the first test including Hannah and the late Moses’ maternal and paternal cousins.
In addition, samples were taken from Olajide’s mother, who is the maternal sister to Moses. The result, to be ready in two weeks, is expected to resolve once-and –for-all the lingering controversy.

“Our next plan of action, if we are told there is no match and the body is not released to us, would be to consult our lawyers. We have all the relevant items to use as evidence,” the family spokesperson remarked.

Arguing that the family may have no option than to go to court, Olajide noted that the reasons adduced by the LASUTH that results of first DNA samples did not match were unacceptable.

“I know that my uncle is still in the mortuary. His body had been identified earlier. I confirmed that it was the body the first time, but now I am not even being allowed to verify that claim. Now, it is only our own relative’s body including bodies of two Chinese that have issues, but most especially, it is only ours that is the controversy”, he stated.

”I said to them, let me ener the mortuary and check the body again to make sure, and that if after I check I see it is not the body of Moses, we will be satisfied, but they said no.”

Olajide, who affirmed that Moses was his uncle, lamented that the entire family was disturbed over the fact that the deceased was yet to be buried. “He should have been buried, but because of this DNA thing, we cannot do that. We come in everyday but are told there is nothing.

”This time they gave us now, we will come back, and then if it is still the same, we will take the next step.”

Corroborating Olajide’s view, a sister to the deceased, Mrs Atinuke Okere, a police officer, dismissed the  DNA result.  “We the family members don’t have any problem with Hannah. I knew her late mother well before she died.”

Expressing sadness over the delay in the process of release of the late brother’s body, she said LASUTH was only compounding the family pains over the loss. She said the family was more worried by the fact that the deceased’s spirit was not at rest and was begging to be laid to rest.

 

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