OPINIONS - Posted on: 23rd May. 2022 at 6:18PM
A Year after his death along with the late Chief of Army Staff, Brig. Gen. Olatunji Lukman Olayinka is remembered by family of friends.

His brother, Amona Segun Maciano couldn't help but be sober as he remembers that to date, the cause of the crash that led to his brother's death is yet to be known.

Brig. Gen. Olatunji Lukman Olayinka was the Provost Marshall of the army. died on the 21st May 2021 in the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft B300 King Air 350i, which also took the life of the serving Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 8 military officers on board. Segun and other members of the family still live in pain, made worse by the fact that the Army and the Nigerian government have not been able to unravel the cause of the incident even as the Accident Investigation Bureau was mandated to investigate the matter.

The aircraft crashed near the Kaduna International Airport while the military officers were on their way to the passing out parade of regular recruits slated for the following day.

The incident happened only 115 days after Attahiru assumed office as the Chief of Army Staff, following his appointment by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on January 26 alongside the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor; Chief of Naval Staff, Gambo Awwal, and Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao.

The Air Force subsequently mandated the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria to lead the investigation into the crash.

Three months after the crash, the AIB submitted the preliminary report to the Chief of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao, at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.

A joint statement by Gabkwet and the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, stated that the preliminary report contained a total of 27 initial findings and eight safety recommendations for immediate implementation. That was all that was heard of the crash.

Preliminary reports, according to Oketunbi, are not the final reports.

“They only contain details of the initial facts, discussions and findings surrounding the occurrences, which include information gathered from witness statements, flight recorders, Health and Usage Monitoring System Data, Flight Data Monitoring data, and preliminary inspection of the accident sites and the wreckages,” he said.

On April 26, the AIB released preliminary reports on four air crashes but the one that claimed Attahiru’s life was excluded.

The reports released were those of the crashes involving a United Nigeria Airlines Limited aircraft on November 17, 2021; Max Air aircraft on November 22, 2021; Air Peace aircraft on November 22, 2021 and Nigeria Police aircraft on January 26, 2022.

When asked by our correspondent why the crash that killed Attahiru was excluded from the reports released by the AIB, its spokesman, Oketunbi, explained that only the military could make the report public.

Oketunbi said, “We have submitted the preliminary report to the Nigerian Air Force and we presented it openly to them, although the full report is not in the public domain. You know it is not a civil accident. It is only the military that can make it public or give us the go-ahead to do so. To make it public is not part of our agreement; they invited us to investigate, we have done it and handed it over to them.”

Asked when the full report would be concluded, he said, “The outcome of final report depends on NAF if they give us the necessary things we need.”

During his meritorious career he earned the following honours and medals:

Distinguished Service Star

Meritorious Service Star

Forces Service Star

Golden Jubilee Medal

Silver Jubilee Medal

River Benue Star

Fellow Defence College (Dagger)

Pass Staff Course (Dagger Dagger)

United Nations Operations Medal

Command Medal

Training Support Medal

General Operations Medal

Corps Medal of Honour

He died as the Provost Marshall of the army.... He was the first Lagosian to be appointed that post in the army.

Posted by: Emdee David

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