- Says aircraft was on surveillance mission over Niger State to help secure release of abducted Kagara staff, students
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Sunday evening said it has fully the notified the Next of Kins/family members of the seven of its personnel killed in the crash of its Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), and releasing their names.
According to a statement by NAF Spokesperson, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, the seven include Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
According to AVM Daramola, the “Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201) crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna, where it was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
“As earlier stated, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident. While the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the Next of Kins/family members of the deceased, regretfully announces that the following 7 personnel lost their lives in the crash:
“Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs.
“The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose.”