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Air Force has no power to probe crash at airport – Falana

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has disclosed that Nigerian Air Force has no power to investigate the plane crash that killed seven of its personnel around the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja on Sunday.

He said only the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), had the right to do so.

Falana therefore, faulted an order by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, that a panel of officers should probe the crash.

“It is so worrisome that impunity has become the order for top officials of the Buhari administration. The order of the Chief of Air Staff designate to the effect that a panel of air force officers should investigate the air crash which occurred on Sunday is illegal.

“That was possible under the defunct military dictatorship in Nigeria.  But under the current political dispensation, all air accidents shall be investigated by the Accident Investigation Bureau”, he noted.

Falana explained that the AIB is under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and is charged with the  responsibility to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere, Punch reported.

The senior advocate argued that the AIB was established by virtue of Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 as an autonomous agency that reports to the President through the Minister of Aviation.

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