Air Misharp: Falae’s Family Demands Compensation From Associated Airline, NCAA

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Family of former Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, the late Deji Falae, has dragged Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited, and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before a Federal High Court, Lagos, urging the court to hold that caused deceased was caused by the defendants’ negligence.

Late Falae who served as Commissioner for Youth and Sports, under the administration of Olusegun Mimiko, in Ondo State, was a passenger on board  Flight 361 that crashed on October 3, 2013, while conveying the remains of former Ondo State governor the late Olusegun Agagu for the funeral.

In a statement of claim filed before the court by late Falae’s wife, Ese and her three teenage children, they alledged that the death of the deceased was caused through the negligence of the defendants.

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Consquently, they are claiming $100,000 USD, as general damages and N219,906, 250 million, which they said the deceased would have earned in 15 years as a lawyer, commissioner, and owner of a construction firm had he not died.

They also sought, in the alternative, N108,527,750 million, £160,740 BPS, and $19,000 USD, as special damages for alleged breaches of the defendants’ respective duties under the Civil Aviation Act 2006, Fatal Accident Act 1846 and Fatal Accident Law of Lagos State.

Furthermore, they also urged the court to award to them N5 million as cost of filing the suit and legal fees, and 10 per cent interest on the post-judgment sum.

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In the statement of claim, late Falae’s family states that Associated Aviation, which operated the chartered aircraft, breached Section 74 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, by failing to procure a legally binding insurance policy covering its liabilities, including compensation for damages that may be sustained by third parties.

They also stated that the company breached statutory duties imposed by Section 55 of the Act when its aircraft at about 9.32 am, a minute after take-off, crash just outside the aerodrome and caused the deceased’s death.

The plaintiff also said the NCAA also failed in its duties to ensure that the aircraft was safe to fly.

“The first defendant flew its Flight 361 in such as manner as to cause danger to the occupiers of the aircraft and indeed caused the death of the deceased.

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The defendants while praying the court to dismiss the suit said the aircraft was airworthy as at the time of the crash and had a valid certificate of air worthiness.

NCAA stated that investigation conducted by the Accident Investigation Bureau did not indict the second defendant it. Adding that the aircraft was insured as at the time of the crash.

NCAA also states that the aircraft was used for charter and while on ground, all required routine maintenance were carried out effectively.

However, Justice Hadiza Shagari adjourned until July 10 for adoption of addresses.

About Paul Sanusi, Lagos

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