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Nigerian Airforce releases names of deceased officers onboard ill-fated aircraft

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has released names of the seven officers that died in the ill-fated aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), that crashed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

NAF said that the seven officers were: Flight Lieutenant, Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer, Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), and Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).

Others were Flight Sergeant, Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The law enforcement agency, in a statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, said that the seven officers died in the crashes that occurred while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna, Niger State.

According to NAF, the officers were on their way 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.

The statement reads: “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.

“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”.

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