Wednesday 22 May 2013

Coroner court may strike out pathologists testimony on Dana crash

Aviation Nigeria

Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University and Chief Medical Examiner Prof. John  Obafunwa may have his testimony in the Dana inquest struck out on grounds of repeated absence from couurt proceedings.

The coroner, Mr. Oyetade Komolafe stated that Obafunwa's testimony would be closed and the court would proceed if he fails to appear in court.

“We will close that matter and will continue our proceedings,” Komolafe said.

The coroner also re-scheduled one of AIB’s consultants, Prof. Adekunbi Banjo, who had sought to refute certain allegations by Obafunwa, to appear in court on the same date with the Chief Medical Examiner.

The Lagos State Coroner court in Ikeja conducting an inquest into the crash had slated two hearing to cross-examine the pathologist and Obafunwa had been absent on both occassions.
Obafunwa who is a forensic pathologist had earlier testified on the probable causes of the death of the victims and provided the details of autopsy tests alongside the identification processes conducted on their bodies.

Counsel representing the Lagos State Government in the proceedings, Mr. Akinjide Bakare, restated on Tuesday that the Obafunawa was absent from court because of his 'University Duties'.

Although Obafunwa’s testimony has remained crucial to the inquest, Counsel for Dana Airline, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), who was set to cross-examine Obafunwa, on Tuesday expressed disappointment over 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.

The coroner, Mr. Oyetade Komolafe, who had wished to conclude the proceedings within the week, was forced to fix July 3 and 4 for the forensic pathologist to appear in court.

In related development, Dana’s Director of Flight, Mr. Oscar Wilson, is expected to appear in court on Wednesday for cross-examination.


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