Dana plane crash inquest: Pathologist cross-examination fixed for July 3

By The Citizen

The coroner's inquest into the June 3, 2012 Dana plane crash on Tuesday fixed July 3 for further cross-examination of a Consultant Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Prof. John Obafunwa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 153 passengers and some residents of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, where the crash occurred, lost their lives in the incident.

Mr Oyetade Komolafe, the coroner presiding over the inquest, fixed the date following Obafunwa's absence from the proceedings for two consecutive days.

Obafunwa, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), was scheduled to undergo further cross-examination.

He had failed to appear in court on Monday and Tuesday due to his tight schedule at the university.

The coroner also directed Prof. Adekunbi Banjo, a consultant for the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), to appear for her testimony on July 3 instead of an earlier date of May 22.

Earlier, counsel to Lagos State Government, Mr Akinjide Bakare, had apologised for Obafunwa's absence>

Dana Airline's counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), who was to conduct the cross-examination, had also expressed disappointment at Obafunwa's absence from court.

He said the adjournments suffered by the inquest were avoidable, if the offices of LASU's Vice-Chancellor and the Lagos State Chief Medical Examiner were not being occupied by the same person.

'He has now foisted on us two days of unnecessary adjournment. It is an avoidable situation,' Ayorinde said.

NAN reports that Obafunwa, who headed the post-mortem examination team, had earlier testified before the inquest and provided the autopsy reports of the victims.

He had also told the inquest that Banjo, a forensic pathologist, was excluded from the team.

Meanwhile, Dana's Director of Flight, Mr Oscar Wilson, is expected to appear in court on May 22 for cross-examination.

The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, is also expected to appear before the inquest this week. (NAN)