Dana crash: Judge declines jurisdiction on suits filed by victims’ relatives

Dana plane crash

Dana crashA Federal High Court (FHC) in Lagos on Wednesday declined to assume jurisdiction on three separate suits filed by relatives of the victims of June 3, 2012 Dana Air crash which occurred in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, had on Tuesday declined to assume jurisdiction on a suit filed by by one Mrs. Chika Ikem-Obih on behalf of her family over the death of her sister, Ms. Ijeoma Onyiuke, occasioned by the June 3, 2012 Dana air crash.

The court had hinged its decision on the failure of the applicant (Ikem-Obih) to comply with the provisions of Order 46, Rule 5 (2) of the Federal High Court Rules which required the filing of a motion for leave of court permitting the matter to be heard during the ongoing vacation of the court.

The FHC is currently observing its annual long vacation.

Again, on Wednesday, three separate suits filed by the consortium of lawyers including Oba Nsugbe (QC, SAN), Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) and Ajibade Dalley were rejected by the court on the ground that the said Order 46, Rule 5 (2) was not complied with.

The separate suits had George Okonji, Hannah Adijolola and Femi Anibaba as applicants, while Dana Airlines Limited and one Stacy Veolette Sellers were the defendants.

The said Sellers was sued as the personal representative of the estate of Mr. Peter Simon Waxtan, the pilot of the said Dana flight No 9J-992 which crashed in Lagos on June 3, 2012.

Okonji sued as administrator of the estate of Patrick Eze Okonji, who died in the crash, while Adijolola sued as administratrix of the estate of her late husband, Mr Abraham Bamidele Adijolola, who equally died in the crash.

Anibaba, on his part, sued as administrator of the estate of his late wife, Mrs Oluwatosin Ibironke Anibaba, who also died in the ill-fated Dana flight No 9J-992.

The applicants had separately claimed $200, 000 each against the defendants as damages for the loss of their loved ones.

They had equally sought interest on the sum at the rate of 21 percent per annum from June 3, 2012 until the date of judgment and interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum until the date the judgment is finally liquidated.

Specifically, they alleged that the pilot of the ill-fated plane failed to promptly abd properly respond to abnormal conditions in the engine throttle settings, engine power indications and engine power produced by the aircraft.

The applicants further alleged that the pilot failed to properly manage fuel in the aircraft, and also failed to properly follow emergency procedures upon detecting loss of engine power by carrying out an emergency air return or landing the aircraft at the nearest available airport en route to Lagos.