A Lagos State Coroner sitting in Abule Egba, Mr. Oyetade Komolafe, on Thursday threatened to arrest Dana Air management officials for their continued absence from the proceedings of the inquest into the June 3 air crash in the state.
Dana is the owner of the MD-83 plane which crashed into houses in Iju Ishaga, Lagos, killing all the 153 persons on board and about10 residents.
Oyetade said absence of Dana’s representatives from the proceedings had no basis as the court Sheriff had visited their office “severally” to serve them the summons.
He added that a publication had also been made by the state judiciary to put everyone concerned on notice.
Thursday’s sitting was the second in the inquest into the crash yet the company failed to send representatives to any of the proceedings.
Oyetade, while lamenting Dana’s absence at the proceedings, said, “The Sheriff has been to their office severally.
“Let me remind you, and I think they should be informed, that the Coroner Law gives the Coroner the power to order the arrest of anyone that is summoned and does not comply.
“A publication has also been made, so they can’t say they are not aware.”
Representing Falana & Falana law firm at the first proceedings on June 27, Mrs. Funmi Falana, complained to the Coroner that earlier attempt to serve the summons notice on Dana Air failed as the company was said to have refused service of the paper in their Lagos office.
Among those summoned and were represented at the proceedings on Thursday were the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Services, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, National Airspace Management Agency and Deputy Commissioner of Police in Panti.
Also represented were some oil marketing firms – Cleanserve Oil, Sahara Oil, MRS Oil Nigeria and Total.
Two individuals, Captain Tito Omaghomi, who said he had flown aeroplane for 35 years, and Dafe Sama, who said he missed the ill-fated Dana plane by an hour, also informed the Coroner of their willingness to testify to assist the inquest.
Komolafe reiterated that the exercise was to find out facts based on the allegation in Falana Chambers’ request for the inquest that the plane which was involved in the crash was allowed to fly despite being faulty.
He adjourned till July 23, directing that all parties who wished to give evidence through written depositions to do so and serve same on all the 24 parties whose names and addresses were taken during the proceedings.