Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has offered free legal services to families of victims of the Dana Air crash, that need to use legal process in pursuit of their rights and settling their compensation.
The governor revealed this when he met with families and members of the diplomatic community whose members and nationals died in the Dana Air crash.
The meeting which was held behind closed doors took far-reaching decisions on the way forward concerning the identification and release of bodies as well as sharing of detailed information with the families.
Addressing the families as well as top management and officials of the Aviation industry and religious leaders, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, venue of the meeting, Mr Fashola said the Office of the Public Defender would be on hand to handle all such legal processes free of charge for those who need the service.
According to the Governor,
“In terms of compensation issue and all of such issues, they are important to varying degrees, but the Office of Public Defender will provide legal services that you require without charge and you can liaise with them through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice”.
The Governor, who said the offer was voluntary, said the head of the legal department of the Office would constitute a legal team with representatives of the families so that the Office would begin to take legal issues and give legal advice to those concerned.
On the issue of finding who was wrong in process of decision making or use of equipment or other issues that resulted in the crash of the ill-fated plane, Governor Fashola cautioned, stating that “to me, and this is personal opinion, this is not necessary yet. We cannot begin to lay blames until we know what caused the accident and we cannot do that until we are through with the bodies and related issues”.
“We have to take it step by step. The result of this investigation or any air plane accident investigation all over the world is not for only one country but for the Aviation industry globally. We must proceed from one step to the other in order not to confuse or complicate the issues”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola also spoke on disaster management in the country saying the people still needs to learn a lot in that direction. He recalled his experience at the crash site on his visit saying he had to personally ensure that every other person who had no business at the site, apart from the emergency workers, moved away from the place.
“I told them this is not a tourist site but an accident site, an investigation site where the people needed at the first instant were the doctors and paramedics as the first responders”, the Governor said adding that such issues would come up for discussion when all the main issues concerning the accident have been disposed of.
He advised all those who have identified the bodies of their relatives to begin the process of taking them away from the morgues for burial.
Some of the family members of the victims who spoke at the meeting expressed gratitude to the Lagos State Government for working assiduously towards the identification and release of the bodies of their relations in order to take them home for proper burial.
The State’s Chief Medical Examiner and Professor of Pathology, Professor Oladapo Obafunwa, in his remarks, gave an insight into the work done so far in the identification process.
He also assured the families that the remains of their relations were being well preserved as, according to him, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital has the best Pathology Department in the country
Culled from Channels TV