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Lisa village head quizzed by police• Bellview pays compensation next week

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE, BEIFOH OSEWELE, MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, UCHE USIM and OLUWATOYOSI OGUNSEYE on 2005/11/07 | Views: 371 |

Lisa village head quizzed by police• Bellview pays compensation next week


The Baale of Lisa village, site of the Bellview plane crash, Chief Sadiku Ogungbemi, was Thursday, quizzed by the police.

The Baale of Lisa village, site of the Bellview plane crash, Chief Sadiku Ogungbemi, was Thursday, quizzed by the police.

Although information on why he was questioned was scanty at press time, it was gathered that it might be as a result of his failure to alert the authorities on the crash site early, and the looting of victims’ belongings by his subjects.

This is even as Bellview Airlines has concluded arrangement to pay compensation to families of the crash victims.

Sources told Daily Sun that the village head was invited at about 10.00am and was subsequently questioned at Sango-Otta police station, Ogun State. He was however, released later on self-recognition after making useful statements. He is to report daily at the police station.

Daily Sun learnt that Ogungbemi’s invitation may not be unconnected with his failure to promptly alert the authorities on the crash site, thereby giving room for some unscrupulous people to invade and loot. A member of the National Assembly had raised an alarm that he got reports that suspected ritualists had invaded the crash site, to pick human parts, before measures were taken to secure the area by a combined team of security agents.

Three days ago, the traditional ruler had demanded N2 million from the Federal Government to exorcise ghosts of victims of the plane crash, through spiritual cleansing of the village.

"The money is meant to embark on what we know how to do best; appealing to our ancestral spirits to stop the unfortunate incident in the area, local government and the state. We are going to invite all traditionalists to help us in the spiritual cleansing. It is necessary that we carry out such a thing. We are going to buy cows, rams, goats and other necessary things. In short, for all the things we need about two million naira," he had said.

The villagers are also asking for compesation for their farmland, cocoa and kolanut plantations.
Reacting Thursday, one of the villagers, who did not want his name in print, said the Baale was being persecuted for demanding N2m and compensation for their losses.

"This is a deliberate attempt to cow us. We are not responsible for the plane crash. We did not pray for it. As a result of the unfortunate incident, we have lost our privacy, our farmlands have been destroyed and now our Baale is being made to face an ordeal of having to go to Sango, a distance of 50 miles everyday. They are being unfair to us," he said.

He added that the allegation of looting being leveled against the people of Lisa was an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

A reliable police source confirmed the Baale’s interrogation, and said investigation into the matter was on.
It would be recalled that a fortnight ago an Abuja-bound Bellview flight 210 crashed in Lisa village killing 117 people on board. The plane had disappeared from the radar three minutes after it took off at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The crash site was discovered the next day.
Meanwhile, arrangements have reached an advanced stage for the payment of insurance claims to next of kin of the 117 victims of the crashed plane.

Speaking with aviation correspondents in Lagos Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Mr. Kayode Odukoya, said each family would receive an initial payment of $10,000 (N1.42 million) starting from November 8. He said that each victim’s next of kin would receive an overall payment of $100,000 insurance compensation after all collation and computations are concluded.

"We’re disbursing an initial $10,000, to pay the balance of $90,000 later. We want to ensure all the families are settled. We’re settling everybody, whether your name is on the manifest or not. We have enough money to accommodate our liabilities. We have visited the families and we’ll continue to visit and counsel as many families as possible," he explained.

Odukoya said the airline collaborated with its insurers, the Blake Emergency Services of the United Kingdom, who arrived with 14 of its workers to assist in the task of settling the families. "We are also working with the Lisa village, where the crash occurred. The village is to get two boreholes from the airline to alleviate their suffering caused by the crash."

On how the crash has affected the company’s operations, the Bellview boss stated that business has been a little dull, adding that the concern of the airline was to ensure that the victims were compensated.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.