Reps give Dana Air seven days to pay compensation

Channels Television  
Updated June 29, 2012

The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the management of Dana Airline to pay about one third of the compensation fee to the families of the victims of the June 3rd Dana Airline crash on or before Tuesday.

The resolution was reached after motion was raised by  Yakub Abiodun under matters of National importance.
The lawmakers asked officials of the airline to act in accordance with the montreal protocol which stipulates that 30% of the amount of the compensation be paid to the families of the victims so they can arrange for their burial while investigation on the matter of the crash still carried on.

The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, simply known as the Montreal Convention, adopted by a diplomatic meeting of member states of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, in 1999, stipulated a Special Drawing Rights, SDR, for victims of air crash, which current value is put at about $171,000 per passenger.

Leading debate on the motion, Mr Abiodun  said that his prayer was in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act, which according to him, stipulates that 30 per cent of due compensation be paid to families of airborne crash victims within 30 days, while investigation into the cause of such accidents lasts.

Similarly, the parliament directed all other airlines who had had plane crashes in the past to comply with the laws by paying the 30 per cent of the required compensation, or in full where investigations had been concluded.

The Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor also spoke in favour of the motion.

He however, said that there was an urgent need to domesticate all international conventions or treaties entered by Nigeria with a view to giving them the force of law, as according to him, issues like this would be easily dealt with when they arise.

Other lawmakers including Haruna Kigbu, Nnena Elendu-Ukeje, Musa Sarki Adar, Peter Edeh and Kingsley Chinda described the slow process of paying compensation to bereaved families of the doomed Dana flight as unfortunate, adding   that it would amount to irresponsibility on the part of the House if nothing was done to compel the airline company to act immediately.