Lagos Asks Court To Dismiss Synagogue’s Fresh Suit

SynagogueThe Lagos State government has urged a Lagos High Court in Ikeja to dismiss with substantial cost, a suit filed by the Registered Trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).

The suit filed by SCOAN is challenging the verdict of the Coroner Inquest into the collapse of a six-storey building within the church premises on September 12, 2014 that led to the death of 116 persons.

The verdict of the Coroner, presided over by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, was delivered on July 8, 2015 and same indicted the church and its engineers for criminal negligence and recommended them for prosecution.

The Lagos State government had thereafter, filed 111 counts criminal charge against the trustees of the church, the two engineers and two companies before Justice Lawal Akapo also of the Ikeja High Court.

Magistrate Komolafe had held that the building that killed the victims was built without approval, adding that its collapse was due to structural defect.

But the church and its engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, rejected the verdict, describing it as unreasonable and one-sided.

In their fresh action filed before Justice Kazeem Alogba, the Trustees of SCOAN had sought for an order stopping their proposed arraignment and an order quashing the decision of the Coroner.

When the matter came up before Justice Alogba on Thursday, lawyer to the Trustees, Mr E.L. Akpofure (SAN) said that Magistrate Komolafe erred in law to have sat as Coroner Court in Alimosho District, which he argued was non-existent.

Akpofure also referred to an argument of the Lagos State government to the effect that the criminal charge filed before Justice Akapo was pursuant to the investigation conducted by the Police and not the decision of the Coroner, saying that such argument was a confirmation that no investigation was conducted because the Police never interrogated the Trustees of the church.

In response, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, said on Thursday that the issue of wrong heading of the nomenclature of the Coroner was a mere irregularity which lacked the vibe to render the proceedings of the Coroner invalid.

While describing it as a mere technical point, Kazeem said that such argument was not directed at substantial justice and as such, the court should discountenance it.

Speaking on the powers of the Attorney General of a state to file criminal charge, Kazeem, who cited the case of Okereke Onyuike versus the People of Lagos State to buttress his argument, said once satisfied that a prima facie evidence has been established, the Attorney General has powers to file criminal charge even without the input of the Police.

While questioning the jurisdiction of the court to hear the instant suit, Kazeem argued that the trustees of the church were clearly out of time as mandated by Order 40, Rule 4 of the rules of the court within which to file the suit and as such, the case was dead on arrival.

He said under the rules, such application ought to have been brought within three months of the decision of the Coroner, but it was filed on January 13, 2016, almost six months after the verdict of the Coroner, which was delivered on July 8, 2015.

The Attorney General also faulted the verifying affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Sunday Okoroji, an Assistant to Prophet TB Joshua, saying the deponent lacked the power to replace the trustees of the church, who are legally empowered to do so.

He added: “My Lord, we submit that there is no proper verifying affidavit before this court because the said Okoroji cannot replace the trustees of the church who are still alive and kicking and as such, the application is incompetent,” Kazeem argued.

He thereafter, urged the court to dismiss the application with substantial cost, saying it was in the interest of justice for the court to so hold.

Justice Alogba, in a brief bench ruling, said that he would give the matter the urgency it deserved being a matter of public importance.

The judge consequently fixed February 19 for judgment on the matter.

Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade Prosecution

Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade ProsecutionThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-story building at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations.

The collapse of the building, which occurred on September 12, 2014 in Ikotun area of Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, led to the death of 116 persons in which most of them were foreigners.

Criminal Negligence

The Lagos State Government had promptly set up a Coroner’s Inquest to unravel what went wrong.

The Coroner Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, through a verdict delivered on August 7, 2015, indicted the engineers and the church and recommended them for investigation and prosecution for criminal negligence.

The engineers, Mr Oladele Ogundeji and Mr Akinbela Fatiregun, swiftly filed two separate suits before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, seeking an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.

In his ruling on the defendants’ preliminary objection, Justice Buba held that the engineers “had not made out a case of infringement of their fundamental rights even on the merit of the application”.

He also held that the Coroner Law was an enactment of the Lagos State House of Assembly which was constitutionally empowered to make laws in the state, adding that “the Federal High Court cannot dabble into the affairs of the state to start dishing out injunctive orders”.

The judge then maintained that the prayers by the engineers, asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State Attorney General or any officer under his authority from initiating or commencing criminal proceedings against them, cannot be granted in the circumstance of the case under review.

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, subsequently hailed Justice Buba on his verdict.

He said that the State government would immediately seek the arraignment and prosecution of the suspects at the Lagos High Court, where charges were already pending before Justice Lawal Akapo.

Court To Hear Suit To Stop Coroner Inquest On November 17

Synagogue building collapseA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos will on Monday November 17, give judgment in a suit filed by a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje seeking to halt the ongoing Coroner inquest into the collapse of a six-story building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

The sad incident occurred on September 12, 2014 at the Synagogue Church in Ikotun area of Lagos. A total of 116 persons, mostly foreigners have so far been confirmed dead.

The Lagos State Government had set up the Coroner inquest and appointed Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe to preside over the inquest.
The Coroner had swiftly swung into action and invited everyone that needed to be invited, when the lawyer (Ogungbeje) suddenly approached the federal high court to stop the proceedings of the Coroner inquest.

In the suit, the lawyer contends that the composition of the Coroner inquest was a negation of the principle of natural justice and Section 36 of the Constitution, and as such it was unconstitutional, null and void.

The lawyer also recalled that the Coroner inquest was constituted by the Lagos State Government after some agencies of the state government had indicted the founder of Synagogue Church, Prophet T.B Joshua and his Church.
The church was accused of making additional structures on the building without obtaining the necessary approvals.

Mr Ogungbeje argued that if the inquest is allowed to continue, it would seriously occasion miscarriage of justice, as the same Coroner would base its decision on the testimonies of the same agencies of Lagos State, which had openly indicted Joshua and his Church.

At the hearing today, the applicant (Ogungbeje) adopted these arguments in support of the suit, and urged the court to stop the inquest.

The state government represented by Kamar Bakare, a senior official with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, equally adopted the counter-affidavit of the respondents in opposition to the suit.

In the counter-affidavit, the government explained that the inquest into the collapsed building was initiated due to public outcry and the need to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of the 116 people.

The government further argued that the inquest was also initiated pursuant to the provisions of Coroner System Law of Lagos State, 2007, duly passed into law by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

According to the government, the inquest is not a regular court, but a fact-finding panel to unravel what actually went down despite the preliminary investigations of the Lagos State Building Control Agency that the church never got approval for the additional structures on the collapsed building.

Besides, the government argued that the applicant (Ogungbeje) lacked the locus standi to sustain the suit as he was neither a member of the Synagogue Church, nor was he personally affected by the inquest.

Synagogue Building: T.B. Joshua Absent At Coroner’s Inquest

T.B JoshuaThe coroner’s inquest into the collapsed Synagogue building continued on Wednesday at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja and the founder of the Synagogue Chruch of All Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua failed to appear.

The contractor of the collapsed building, who had also been summoned to testify alongside the church founder also failed to show up.

Two weeks ago, the coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, had summoned both men to appear before the inquest to give information on what they know about the collapse with a view to helping the inquest determine the cause and forestall a recurrence.

The coroner had ordered the court baliff to serve the witness summons to appear on both men.

But counsel to the church, Mr Olalekan Ojo, informed the coroner that both men were yet to be personally served with the witness summons.

Mr Ojo said he was volunteering the information to the coroner to prevent a public misconception that the Prophet TB Joshua had dishonoured the court by not appearing after he had been served.

He also explained that the prophet, being the chief mourner, has not been available because he was contacting the families of victims who lost their lives in the September 12 incident.

A hundred and sixteen people were said to have died In the incident.

The counsel to the church also said that the collapsed building contractor  had not been served because the court did not have his contact information.

After listening to this explanation, the coroner sought to be guided on why the summons could not be served on the counsel especially in accordance with Section 5 of the Magistrate Civil Procedure Rules, 2009.

The counsel however refused to accept service insisting that service of witness summons through counsel was not provided for within the law.

The coroner has however reiterated that Prophet TB Joshua must appear before the inquest. He said that the court would do the needful to ensure that the prophet was served. He also appealed to the counsel and the Chief Security officer of the Synagogue Church to assist the court in doing this, failing which the court may be forced to use the police and bring the full wrath of the law to bear.

As for the building contractor, the coroner asked the church counsel to help with getting his contact details to enable service on him. The lawyer obliged but pleaded for time to consult and get the necessary information and the coroner gave him till Friday to provide the information.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu has however testified before the inquest. He told the coroner that rescue efforts were initially impeded because of some resistance his team faced while trying to access the scene of the collapsed building.

The LASEMA GM also blamed the Police for not being able to control the crowd that had gathered at the scene of the incident.

He said that his team succeeded in recovering 86 dead bodies with 131 people rescued alive. The bodies rescued, he says, were not disjointed.

Court Refuses To Stop Synagogue Inquest

NFFA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has refused to issue restraining orders to stop the inquest into the Synagogue building collapse.

Justice Ibrahim Buba refused to stop the inquest in a ruling delivered on an oral application brought by a Lagos based lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, who is seeking to stop further sittings in the Coroner’s court, on the basis that the outcome will be biased against the Founder of the Synagogue Church, TB Joshua.

The court said it will hear the case on its merit.

On Sept. 12, a six-storey building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, collapsed in the Idimu area of Lagos, killing 116 people and leaving several others injured.

On Sept 26, the Lagos State Government constituted a Coroner’s Court to unravel the circumstances leading to the incidence with a view to forestall a recurrence. Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe was appointed Coroner.

The coroner has taken testimonies from some parties interested in the inquest before Lagos lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, on Oct. 28, filed a suit, seeking an order to restrain further proceedings in the suit.

Listed as defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Attorney General of the State, Mr Ade Ipaye, and Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe.

When the case was mentioned on Tuesday, Counsel representing all the respondents, Mr Akinjide Bakare, informed the court that he had been served with the processes filed by the applicant.

He however, prayed the court for a short time to regularise his responses.

In reaction, Counsel to the applicant, Mr Nelson Okedinachi, said although he was not opposed to the adjournment, it was important for the court to issue an order, restraining the Coroner from further inquest.

He informed the court that the General Overseer of the Church, Prophet T.B Joshua, had already been summoned to appear before the Coroner on Nov. 5, adding that it was important to stop this.

According to Okedinachi, “the draconian speed at which the coroner’s court is sitting, simply means that after it summons Prophet T.B Joshua, it would make it findings and submit its report, then this entire suit will be a waste.

In response to this, Bakare informed the court that since he had been served with the processes of the applicant, it was important for him to put in his response.

He noted that the said Prophet T.B Joshua was not held in detention, and had not declined to appear before the Coroner, adding that there was no basis for the application for restraint.

“The said T.B Joshua is not held in detention and has not refused to appear before the court, so I wonder why a man will drink Panadol for another man’s headache” he said

After listening to the submissions of counsels, Justice Ibrahim Buba held that an order of interim injunction was not necessary in the situation, since the applicant was not personally affected by the inquest.

“Although, Okedinachi wants an order of interim injunction restraining T.B Joshua from appearing before the coroner, I must say that he is not a party to the suit, neither is he held in detention.

“The respondents were served with the court processes on Friday, and by the rules, they have five days to respond, but time was abridged and they accepted, and so, let us not loose sight of the issue here.

“If Ogungbeje was the party summoned before the coroner, then the issue of a restraining order will arise, but in this situation, how can I restrain the whole world.

“The applicant has not shown that he will suffer any danger if the restraining order is not granted, and so, I will hear this case on its merit on Thursday, Nov. 6, and I will not grant any restraining orders; this is the ruling of this court” he said

It would be recalled that the applicant in his suit, averred that the composition of the Coroner’s Court, was a negation of the principle of natural justice and Section 36 of the Constitution, and as such, was unconstitutional and void.

He averred that the inquest was constituted by the Lagos State Government after the agencies of the state government had indicted the Church of erecting additional structures on an already existing building without approval.

He argued that if allowed to continue, the proceedings of the Coroner inquest will occasion a miscarriage of justice, as the same Coroner would based its decision on the testimonies of the same agencies of Lagos State.

The lawyer alleged that the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Building Control Agency, and the Lagos State Fire Service, had made prejudicial reports that the building collapsed due to additional structures.

He averred that the contention of the Church that the building collapsed as a result of an aircraft hovering round the building moments before it collapsed, was ignored.

Ogungbeje averred that The Lagos State Building Control Agency went ahead to seal up the main building of the church.

The lawyer, is therefore, seeking an order nullifying the composition of the Coroner and the proceedings so far, as well as an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants jointly and severally from further proceedings.

He wants every sitting, investigation, fact finding or any action in any manner whatsoever on any facts connected to the case, to be put on hold until the suit is determined.

Synagogue Building: Legal Practitioner Challenges Coroner’s Inquest

Synagogue Church building collapseThe Coroners inquest into the cause of the Synagogue building collapse has been adjourned till tomorrow, Wednesday the 29th of Oct but a legal practitioner, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje has dragged the Lagos State Government before a Federal High Court seeking an order to stop further proceedings of the inquest.

The inquest which was constituted by the state government was set up to determine the cause of the Synagogue building collapse with a view to forestalling a recurrence.

The coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe had last week visited the scene of the incident to get a first hand view and had summoned the founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua to appear before him on November 5, 2014.

But Mr Ogungbeje, wants the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the Coroner and its proceedings so far. He also wants the court to issue a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants jointly and severally from further proceeding, sitting, investigating, or embarking on any fact finding or taking any untoward action in any manner whatsoever on any facts connected to the case.

The defendants in the case are the Lagos State Government, it’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye and the Coroner Magistrate.

Mr Ogungbeje argues that the inquest was constituted by the Lagos State Government after some agencies of the state government had indicted T.B Joshua and his Church and accused them of adding additional structures on the collapsed building without obtaining the necessary approvals.

He submits that if allowed to continue, the proceedings of the Coroner inquest will seriously occasion miscarriage of justice, as the same Coroner would base its decision on the testimonies of the same agencies of Lagos State, which had openly indicted Joshua and his Church.

He cites as instances the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Building Control Agency, the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and others who have made prejudicial reports in the public domain that the building collapsed as a result of additional structures, despite T.B Joshua’s claim that the building collapsed as a result of an aircraft hovering round it, a claim which he says was ignored.

Ogungbeje added that “The Lagos State Building Control Agency even went ahead to seal up the main building of the church. The General Manager of the agency even said in the papers and I quote him as follows ‘we have investigated and found that they had no approval for the additional structures. Even the main church which they have added about three floors on was sealed two days ago.’

The matter is however yet to be assigned to any judge, while no date has been fixed for hearing.

Dana Air Crash Coroner Presents Findings

dana_crash_site_debrisThe coroner inquiring into the cause of the Dana Air crash in Lagos two years ago, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, has come out with his findings, saying that the court could not arrive at a specific verdict on the cause of the crash.  

Exactly two years after the crash which killed all 153 passengers on board, Magistrate Komolafe on Tuesday held that the inconclusive investigation by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) affected the verdict.

The coroner, however, recommended some steps that should be taken by authorities to avoid future mistakes as well as improve rescue operations whenever such incident occurs.

In a nine-point recommendation to the authorities, Magistrate Oyetade called for the establishment of a national body for logistics and supply for body handlers and retrievals, an urgent need for a forensic science laboratory in each geopolitical zones and any state that can have such.

He also called for the enactment of a National Coroner System, the provision of fire services in each local government of the federation, provision of equipment for all emergency agencies, establishment of radio unit service in all emergency units that will be linked to each other and establishment of national and state corps and inter-agency cooperation among all emergency agencies.

Other recommendations by Magistrate Komolafe were; need for periodic meetings among all agencies and units and a necessary public enlightenment on how to behave during rescue operations.

The inquest commenced on June 18, 2012 and 17 witnesses including security agencies, emergency agencies, the state Chief Pathologist, Prof John Obafunwa, representatives of the airline and other governmental agencies gave evidence before the court in respect of the incident.

The Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012, claimed the lives of all 153 people on board the aircraft  and about 10 victims on the ground.

Dana Air Crash: Bodies Of Pilot and Co-Pilot Not Found

The bodies of the two pilots of the crashed Dana Air’s MD-83 Plane which crashed and claimed the lives of 153 passengers were not found at the site of the crash as they were completely incinerated by the post-crash inferno.

153 body bags were recovered from the site of the Dana Crash of the 3rd of June, 2012. Of that figure, the Pathologists conducting an inquest into the cause of the crash were able to identify the bodies of 148 persons.

These details were given in court on Friday when the Chief Medical Examiner and Consultant Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. John Obafunwa, testified before a Coroner Court sitting at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

The American Pilot, Mr. Peter Waxtan, 55, and his Indian Co-Pilot, Mr. Mahendra Rathore, 34, whose bodies were not found were among the 153 persons aboard the plane and other persons on the ground, were killed in the crash.

Prof Obafunwa, who along with other experts conducted series of postmortem tests on the bodies recovered from the crash site, said a total of nine persons among the 153 persons aboard the plane could not be identified.

He said the team of experts could not identify the bodies of the Pilot and the Co-Pilot after exhaustive deliberation and consultation.

“Bodies of other crew members were however identified.”

He said apart from Waxtan, and Rathore, who were certain to be on the plane, the other seven names of passengers on the manifest whose bodies were not found, might actually not have boarded the plane.

The consultant testified that “it is either these individuals were not on board the plane or some other passengers used their names to get on board.

“It is also possible some of them were completely incinerated” he added.

According to Prof Obafunwa, among the 148 bodies identified with their names, three of them were identified through the DNA analysis carried out in the United Kingdom and the three were discovered to be among the bodies of those who died on the ground.

Bags of body parts

Led in evidence by the counsel for the state’s Attorney General, Mr Akinjide Bakare, the pathologist said three unidentified bodies were still being kept in the mortuary

He said among the 153 body bags received by his team, two among the bags contained different parts of the body of the same person.

The pathologist also tendered in court the final report of the series of tests carried out on the bodies.

The autopsy reports on the 148 identified bodies with their names and 170 CDs of images also formed part of documents admitted as exhibits at Friday’s proceedings.

The images in the CDs, part of which were shown during the proceedings contained the X-rays, dental structure, bodies of the identified victims and bone samples of some of the victims.

Prof Obafunwa said two-thirds of the bodies removed were burnt beyond recognition, some suffered “heat fracture”, a situation whereby some limbs were completely burnt out, and some were decapitated.

Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe has adjourned till January 25 for lawyers representing Dana Air and other parties to cross-examine the Pathologist.

Dana Crash: Absence Of Pathologist Stalls Inquest

The coroner’s inquest into the 3 June 2012 Dana Plane crash in Lagos has failed to resume on Tuesday following the absence of a consultant pathologist, John Obafunwa.

153 passengers aboard the plane and some residents of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, where the plane crash occurred, were killed in the incident.

The inquest had been due to resume on Tuesday following the dismissal of a suit filed against the proceedings by a group, Civil Aviation Round Table.

The suit was dismissed by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos for lacking in merit.

Mr Obafunwa, who is the Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja had testified on July 25,2012 on the cause of death of the victims.

He was expected to be cross-examined on his testimony and submit the autopsy reports to the court.

Following his absence, the Lagos State Coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe said the proceedings could not go on.

Also to be cross-examined is Capt. Oscar Wilson, Director of Flight Operations, Dana Airlines who had also given evidence before the inquest.

Magistrate Oyetade has therefore adjourned the inquest till the 18th of Jan. 2013 to enable summons to be served on witnesses and parties expected to testify before the court.

Dana Air Crash: Ex-pilot blames flight’s crew for negligence

A witness at the on-going Coroner’s inquest into the Dana Air Crash, Alexander Omaghomi, has said the negligence and failure of the flight crew to adhere to required emergency guidelines led to the tragedy.

Mr Omaghomi also known as Captain Tito said he had more than 32 years’ experience as a Pilot on Thursday told the Coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, that his opinion of the preliminary report of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was that the pilot and his crew failed to keep to necessary checklists to prevent the fatalities of the air crash.

Omaghomi, a pilot with the defunct Nigerian Airways while being led in evidence by Femi Falana, explained that checklists are items and actions you take in the operations of a flying plane.

The former pilot who retired from flying commercial planes in 1993 said his analysis of the AIB report on the Dana Air crash was that the cockpit was a “a disorganised cockpit” and that the plane “became a flight that nobody had controlled.”

According to him, the pilot did not call for help when he should have done, that is at the time when the plane had already lost two engines.

He further stated that the rules are that no pilot flies for more than 100 hours in a month.

He observed that the pilot of the ill-fated plane had put in 120 hours of flight within 14 days. This was illegal, he said.

Omaghomi lamented that there were only 17 accidents between 1965-2003 while there has been almost 21 air mishaps from 2003 till date.

Earlier, an Aviation Operations Manager with Total Nigeria PLC, Daniel Akpokoje had testified that the last time Dana Air bought fuel from his company was November last year.

He stated that before fuel is supplied to an aircraft, several checks are normally made to ensure that there are no sediments or water mixed with it.

The Coroner adjourned hearings till August 13th in consideration for relatives, who are now collecting the remains of their loved ones who died in the crash.

Dana Air Crash: Flight Data Recorder is destroyed-AIB

The Director of Engineering with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr. Emmanuel Dialla has revealed that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), an essential component of the Dana Air plane, has been destroyed by post-crash inferno.

Mr Dialla who continued his testimony on Monday told the Coroner inquiring into the cause of death of the 153 persons on the Dana Air Crash of June 3rd, that the recorder was burnt due to the failure of extinguishing the post-crash inferno that lasted for 24hours.

This claim heightened concerns at the proceedings of the Coroner’s inquest in Lagos where Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe is presiding.

The AIB which is statutorily empowered to investigate air crashes had earlier tendered its preliminary report to the Coroner.

According to the AIB Engineer, the tail section of the plane, which houses the FDR and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), was part of the 15 per cent of the plane recovered from the accident site.

The FDR is an electronic device that  records instructions sent to any electronic system on an aircraft, while the CVR is an electronic device which records conversations between the cabin crew and the Air Traffic Controller.

Mrs. Funmi Falana of Falana and Falana Chambers, the law firm which initiated the inquest, while cross-examining Mr. Dialla, wondered why the FDR designed to be fire-proof was burnt.

The witness replied that “the FDR is designed to withstand heat at 1,000’C for 30 minutes, but in this case, the fire was on for about 24 hours.”

A retired pilot, Captain Paul Porbeni, also asked Mr. Dialla, how the AIB was able to arrive at a finding when the FDR could not be analysed.

But Mr. Dialla said “this was deduced from the 31-minute CVR recording of the conversation between the pilot and the first Officer.”

Responding to further questions, Mr. Dialla dismissed claims that the pilot was not qualified to fly the plane because he (the pilot) did not obtain Airline Transport Pilot Licence Rating in the MD-83 plane, the model of the crashed Dana plane.

Mrs Falana also confronted him with the AIB preliminary report which states, “the Captain, aged 55, held an Airline Transport Pilot license with type ratings in the A-320, DC-90, FK-28, and SF-340.”

But Dialla said, “the pilot would not have been allowed to fly if he did not have the rating. He had over 18,116 hours of total time, including 16,416 hours of pilot-in-command.”

He further adds that the late Pilot had “7,461 hours in the accident model airplane, as Pilot-in-command.” “If he did not have the rating it will be difficult for him to get over 7,000 hours as Pilot-in-command.” “The regulatory bodies would not allow him to fly” Dialla added.

Concerning the technical log book of the plane, Mr. Dialla said it could not be produced as requested by Falana because it was still being used by the AIB for further investigation.

But the Coroner asked the counsel, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, holding brief for the AIB, to produce an extract of the log book relevant to the crashed plane.

The matter has been adjourned till Tuesday to enable technicians attend to an electrical fault in the court which resulted into smoke during the proceedings.