Dana Airline wants crash inquest stopped!!!

Dana Airline announced yesterday that it will soon resume flight operations following the lifting of suspension of the airline operations by the Federal Government Wednesday.

In a statement, the management of the airline thanked the Federal Government for lifting the suspension and announced that it will soon resume flight operations in all its routes.

It will be recalled that following the tragic crash of the airline plane on Sunday, June 3, at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, which killed more than 153 people, including those on board the plane and the residents of the site it crashed, the airline flight operations were suspended by the Federal Government.

In what looked like fore closing investigation into the crash, the airline said the Federal Government was satisfied with the air-worthiness of the airline.

The airline said ‘’The management and the over 558 staff of Dana Air wish to express our deepest appreciation to the Federal Government over the lifting of the suspension of the airline’s operations with effect from Wednesday, September 5, 2012, following government’s satisfaction with the air-worthiness of the airline after a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit.’’

However, despite being joined as a defendant in a suit seeking to stop a coroner's inquest into the cause of its aircraft's June 3 crash, Dana Air has filed an affidavit supporting the plaintiffs' motion.

The airline, on Thursday, committed a legal rarity as a defendant, by filing an affidavit supporting the plaintiffs, Dele Ore, a retired pilot, and the Civil Aviation Round Table Initiative in a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The plaintiffs are challenging the Lagos State Coroners’ System Law. They claim the law does not cover deaths arising from aviation accidents, so the coroner lacks the power to investigate the crash.

Joined in the suit as the 1st - 4th defendants were: Oyetade Komolafe, the coroner; the Chief Coroner of Lagos State; the Lagos State Chief Judge; and the Attorney General of Lagos State.

Also joined in the suit as defendants were: the Attorney General of the Federation; the Federal Ministry of Aviation; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN); Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB); Nigeria Air Space Management Authority (NAMA); and Dana Air.

The presiding judge, Okon Abang, who claimed there was no provision for a defendant to support a plaintiff's affidavit, however, put the decision on the 1st - 4th defendants.

In his bench ruling, Abang said that the four defendants were "at liberty to file their objection to the affidavit if they so wish."

"The most important issue is to consider if the interest of the 1st - 4th defendants will be prejudiced," he said.

Abang adjourned the case to September 13 for the hearing of the plaintiff's motion for interlocutory injunction.