By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS—Controversy has continued to trail the list of victims of the ill-fated Dana plane, engraved on the tombstone at the cenotaph located at the Iju-Ishaga site of the crash, Lagos, unveiled on Monday by Governor Babatunde Fashola.
The unveiling was part of activities marking one year remembrance of victims of the crash on June 3, 2012, at Iju, Ifako-Ijaye Local Council Development Area, LCDA.
Investigation revealed that the names of three of the ground victims are not on the cenotaph.
Also, 156 names appeared on the cenotaph against 157 names read out by Governor Fashola, while delivering his speech before the unveiling.
Mr. Gbenga Eguntola, counsel to 30 victims including 18 ground victims, who spoke to Vanguard, confirmed that apart from only 156 names appearing on the tomb, some names were wrongly included.
Eguntola said: “The construction of the cenotaph was a shoddy job. To further tell you that it was a shoddy job, 156 names were pasted on the tomb as against 157, which the governor read while delivering his speech.
“The missing names are Paul Ebodage, Mrs. Habibat Yusuf and her husband, Mr. Muhammed Yusuf.
“They all died on the ground and their names did not reflect on the list pasted on memorial tombstone.
“The state government failed to follow the proper manifest, which they could have obtained from the management of the airline or solicitors handling the case for the victims’ relatives.
“It is an injustice to the soul of those who died in the ill-fated flight. We believe that justice should be done on such a sensitive case like this.
“I do not know what was responsible for this. Since last year, we have been engaging the management of Dana to include their names on the list.”
Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, could not be reached for comments.
An SMS sent to his phone was unreplied at press time.
but the operators of the airline said that in the absence of the death certificate, they cannot actually determine whether those people actually died in the crash. Unfortunately, the DNA test was inconclusive. These people’s bodies were completely incinerated. Families went to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, for the DNA test but they could not get matching sample to compare with the samples collected from family members.”
“We need to get justice for the injured and deceased and their family members. Their memories cannot be wiped away easily because a lot of things are a stake. We will make sure that at the end of the day, the injured and the deceased are given their due honour.”