A consortium of foreign and Nigerian lawyers, representing 26 families, who lost their loved ones in the 2012 Dana Airlines crash in Lagos, has written to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, demanding the release of the final Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau report, stating the exact cause of the crash.
More than 150 passengers were killed in the crash along with six crew members and 10 members of the public on the ground.
Twenty-six families, in a letter by a United Kingdom law firm, Irwin Mitchell, said the failure of the AIB to release the final report on the crash had prevented them from achieving closure four years after the tragedy.
The lawyers said the lack of any concrete information on the exact cause of the air crash remained a source of distress for their clients.
They said the failure of the AIB to release its final report had constituted a stumbling block to the suits filed by their clients as it had made it impossible for them to conclude their claims from Dana Airlines.
In their joint letter to Amaechi, dated September 2, 2016, the lawyers said, “The Aviation Attorney Group represents a number of surviving family members who tragically lost their loved ones in the Dana Airlines crash in Lagos in 2012.
“The causes of this tragedy remain unknown more than four years after the accident. As we are sure you can appreciate, our clients are desperate for answers as to how their loved ones came about their deaths, so that they can begin to put this behind them and move on with their lives.
“The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau is responsible for conducting investigation into the accident.”
The lawyers recalled that following the crash, which occurred on June 3, 2012, the AIB released a preliminary report on June 9, stating that investigation into the accident would be conducted in accordance with Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
They, however, said this was only followed up one year after by an interim statement, giving limited detail about the progress of investigation and certain safety issues.
Two years after, they said the AIB released another statement, which merely stated that some undisclosed safety recommendations had been accepted and implemented by Dana Airlines operator and regulatory bodies.
According to the lawyers, during the third anniversary of the air crash on June 3, 2015, the AIB released its third and final interim report, which it said had been sent for the recommendations of the Convention of International Civil Aviation.