The Coroner of Alimosho District in Lagos state, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who is conducting an inquest into the recent Dana Air crash, on Thursday, issued a bench warrant on some oil companies and emergency relief agencies, compelling them to appear before him on Monday.
Those who the bench warrants were issued on include Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Conoil Plc, and Total Nigeria Limited.
The Lagos Coroner gave the order while responding to a submission made by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) whose law firm, Falana and Falana Chambers, petitioned the Lagos State Chief Coroner, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, for an inquiry into the air crash.
At the resumed sitting of the inquest on Thursday, Mr Falana reminded the Coroner that some oil companies and emergency agencies that have been served with summons are yet to appear before it.
The human rights lawyer also suggested that the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force should be ordered to investigate the deaths of people that died on the ground, emphasizing that it is not the responsibility of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
He noted that the AIB is only to investigate the causes of the crash of ill-fated Dana airline.
Dana Air Flight 0992 crashed into a residential building in the densely populated Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos on the 3rd of June, 2012, killing all 153 passengers and crew on board and nine people also lost their lives in the affected building.
Magistrate Komolafe and other interested parties also agreed to schedule appearance of more witnesses following the submission of the counsel to the Nigerian Airspace Management, Mr. Obi Okwusogu (SAN).
The Magistrate also directed that any of the witnesses who are submitting deposition should forward it to the court two days before the day they would give evidence.
According to the schedule, Channels Television and AIT are to appear on Monday to show the clips of the crash on the day it happened.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) and Julius Berger, who had earlier been summoned but failed to show up, are scheduled for Tuesday along with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The AIB which was represented by its counsel, Maureen Tsenongo at the hearing where she told the Coroner that she intends to submit a written deposition and requested to make appearance on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 to enable her bring its witness.
The Coroner also granted the request of the counsel to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Mr. Babatunde Irukera and his Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), C. Chiwete to appear on Thursday, August 2, 2012 and Monday, August 6, 2012 respectively.
The court proceeding with the Coroner was then adjourned to Monday, July 30, 2012.
Series of fire outbreak and explosions ravaged different parts of Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Friday, claiming yet to be confirmed number of lives.
The first incident happened after a barge carrying fuel exploded at the Abuloma jetty.
The blast at Abuloma occurred about 9.30AM and it is reported to have occurred as a result of the maintenance work being carried out in the vessel by welders.
A resident of Abuloma, Mr. James Israel, who witnessed the incident, told a news agency that “the welders were trying to seal an opening to block a leakage on the deck of the vessel’s fuel tank and in the process, the vessel exploded.”
“The welders died, but we cannot ascertain how many people died inside the vessel,” Israel added.
Atali on Rumuokwurusi-Igwuruta road in the oil-rich state was also engulfed by massive fumes on the same day after officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the state, set five tankers, suspected to be loaded with illegally refined oil ablaze.
The JTF officers impounded the tankers in the area on Thursday night after which the tankers were driven into the bush in Agali, where they were set ablaze.
Spokesperson for the JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, Captain Sunday Samuel, said the tankers were involved in illegal bunkering, adding that the mandate of the JTF was to destroy products seized from illegal bunkerers.”
The Captain further added that six people were arrested as the tankers were impounded, adding that the suspects would be handed over to appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution.
Spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the agency has mobilised first responders to both scenes to put out the fire.
Another inferno was recorded at the building of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation where property worth millions of Naira was destroyed as fire gutted the second floor of The Tide Newspaper building, on Ikwerre Road of the city.
Also the Engineering Department of Sliverbird Rhythm FM was razed by an early morning fire that led to the privately owned station, go off air.
The series of inferno that led to unrest in the state is coming barely a week after the state government conducted mass burial for over 100 victims that died in an oil tanker explosion.
The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that exploded at Wuse District of Abuja, on Friday night was thrown from a moving vehicle, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Aderele Shinaba has confirmed.
The explosion which shattered windows in nearby buildings and damaged seven vehicles, occurred outside the popular Kryxtal Lounge night club, along Aminu crescent road, opposite Etisalat office.
According to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), there were no casualties from the explosion.
NEMA’s spokesman, Mr. Yushau Shuaib confirmed that explosion happened at about 10 minutes to midnight.
Confirming the attack to Channels Television, the Deputy Police Public Relations officer, Mr Frank Mba, said that the explosion was from a low level IED.
He also said that “crowd control at the scene of the explosion was perfect, thereby resulting in no loss of life.”
The PPRO assured residents of the FCT that “the police is working hard with other security agencies to ensure that Abuja residents enjoy the peace that they’ve always enjoined in the city.”
The bomb explosion in the nation’s capital, occurred just hours after President Goodluck Jonathan dismissed the National Security Adviser, Retired General Patrick Owoeye Azazi and appointed Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to replace him. The president also dismissed the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Bello Haliru.
Officials of NEMA and security agents have cordoned the area and cleared the damaged vehicles.
No arrest has been made and no group has claimed responsibility for the action.
The National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) on Monday said that 137 bodies have so far been removed from the scene of the air crash involving a Dana aircraft carrying 153 passenger and crew from Abuja to Lagos. NEMA’s spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib, who disclosed this in a press statement, said the bodies have been deposited at the mortuary of the Lagos State University.
The statement also quoted NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Alexander Bankole, as suspending the search and rescue operation till Tuesday after the body of a woman clutching a baby was recovered.
The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Femi Oke-Osanyintolu had earlier on Monday told journalists that 25 of the bodies removed from the scene of the plane crash were intact while the others were burnt beyond recognition.
He said that the Lagos State Ministry of Health had initiated DNA tests on the corpses to ascertain the identities of the burnt persons.
Mr Osanyintolu said that 15 families displaced by the crash had been taken to the state relief camp at Agbowa-Ikosi in Epe, Lagos State.
“The major challenge we had yesterday was crowd control which hindered our gaining access to the scene but with the presence of security personnel, the evacuation has been easy,” he said.
“It is a national disaster; we urge the people to stay away to avoid more danger as the affected buildings will be pulled down.
“The place has to be epidemic-free as it is a residential area,” he said.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has declared a three-day period of national mourning for all those who lost their lives in the Dana plane crash in Lagos today.
According to a statement released from the State House, the President cancelled all his public engagements scheduled for tomorrow and has also directed that the Nigerian flag be flown at half-mast for the three days of national mourning.
Meanwhile, the President has ordered the fullest possible investigation into the crash.
In compliance with the President’s directive, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has already left Abuja for Lagos to oversee investigations and present an interim report to the Federal Government as quickly as possible.
The President joins all Nigerians in mourning all those who lost their lives in the plane crash which has sadly plunged the nation into further sorrow on a day when Nigerians were already in grief over the loss of many other innocent lives in the church bombing in Bauchi State.
The President however assured air travellers in the country that every possible effort will be made to ensure that the right lessons are learnt from the tragic loss of valuable lives in today’s plane crash and that further measures will be put in place to boost aviation safety in the country.
He prayed that God should grant the families of the victims of the plane crash the courage and fortitude to bear their irreparable loss.
A car bomb has exploded near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the Kaduna city center on Sunday, injuring several people, reports say.
Officials confirmed to the Associated Press that at least five people have been confirmed dead in the attacks, but the extent of the damage done by the explosions is yet to be determined.
Spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaibu, says victims of the blast were primarily “local Okada riders”.
Giving an account of the attack to a local radio station, the spokesman refused to confirm the exact number of those killed, saying “the only person that can confirm that is a medical doctors.”
Officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, put the death toll from the attacks at 20.
Shuaibu said individuals who sustained varying degrees of injuries from the attacks have been taken to local hospitals for treatment. NEMA assures that rescue and security agencies responded promptly to the scene of the explosion.
Kaduna State police spokesman, Aminu Lawal, confirmed the reports to local radio, but said details of the attacks are still sketchy. “We have a bomb explosion. We are trying to sort things out,” the spokesman told news agencies.
Eyewitnesses speculated that the explosion had occurred inside a vehicle that was being used to convey explosives to an unknown destination.
One eye witness, Mr. Isa Musa, said the occupants of the vehicle had attempted to flee the vehicle before the explosives detonated, but had not gotten very far.
“The bomb exploded when they abruptly stopped and came down from the car, and many people have been killed because the place was very congested with Okada men and people taking pap beside the main road,”Mr. Musa said.
Another resident, RNW reported, had witnessed the attack from a balcony and reported seeing policemen “loading the dead and the injured into waiting vans”.
The attack occurred even as several made the journey to a nearby church to celebrate the Easter Sunday.
Officials urged residents to remain vigilant during the Easter break, tightening security in the northern parts of the country to forestall possible attacks.
The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in conjunction with the Institute for Peace, is set to host a regional peace forum in an attempt to put an end to increasing sect-related violence in Africa’s most populous nation.
The NEMA-hosted forum will take place this week in Lafia, Nasarawa state, the UPI reported.
Director General of the agency, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, announced intentions for the forum after his visit to St. Finbars Catholic Church in Jos, Plateau state where 11 had been killed in suicide bomb attacks.
Sani-Sidi called on community and religious leaders to be more vigilant and security conscious and above all to remain calm and strive for peaceful co-existence. The parish priest, Rev. Peter Umoren thanked the DG for his concern.
A series of bomb attacks targeting worship places have been attributed to the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram. The sect claims to want a wide spread implementation of Shariah law and has claimed responsibility for several attacks targeting security operatives.
A man, Musa Inuah Dalhatu on Tuesday climbed a telecommunication mast beside the Federal High Court at the Maitama district of Abuja saying he would commit suicide unless the Chief Judge invoked his powers and compels former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to pay him a N15 million debt.
Mr Dalhatu who was sighted on the mast at about 12.15p.m, alleged that he had executed a project for the former Vice President while he was in power to the tune of N15 million, saying efforts to recover the money had proved abortive.
The protester said he would not come down until either Mr Atiku was produced in court or the Acting Inspector General of Police agrees to investigate the veracity of his allegation with a view to recovering his money.
The protester remained on top of the mast which is equivalent to a 15 storey building for over three hours and refused to give head to all entreaties from a rescue team comprising of officers from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA; Nigeria Federal Fire Service and a team of Police officers led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sunday Odukoya and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moshood Jimoh.
Speaking to him with the aid of a megaphone an official of NEMA told him in Hausa “we plead with you in the name of God. We love and care about you, listen to us, come down and we will help you solve your problem.”
The team finally persuaded him to come down around 4:25p.m after assuring him that he would be given the opportunity to speak with the Acting Inspector General of Police.
The FCT police command said that the protester will be taken into protective custody while the case is being investigated.
“The next thing now is to investigate to actually know what has prompted this act before we know what the next line of action will be,” the FCT PPRO said.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has recommended “severe punishments” for those who are technically or otherwise responsible for cases of collapse buildings.
NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, gave the recommendation yesterday in response to a collapse building in Gwarimpa, Abuja which forced the agency to call for an emergency stakeholder’s summit.
Addressing Search and Rescue Officers of the agency involved in a seven-hour rescue operation in Abuja at the weekend, the NEMA boss said “stakeholders in building industry must find urgent solutions to the unbecoming and rampant cases of building collapse.”
While commending the emergency response agencies for well-coordinated and collaborated efforts, especially their timely arrival at the scene, Mister Sani-Sidi attributed the causes of building collapse to non-compliance with specifications and standards, employment of incompetent contractors and use of substandard materials and equipments.
The Gwarimpa building collapse occurred last Saturday morning and the rescue started around 11am lasting till 7pm with the collaborative efforts of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Civil Defence Corps, Peace Corps Volunteers, Navy and NEMA.
Two lives were lost while five victims were rescued alive. Only one person was critically injured and presently in admission in a hospital in Abuja.