Reprieve came the way of widow of Deji Falae, son of Chief Olu Falae, who died in the ill-fated Associated Airline crash in Lagos on October 3, 2013, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Wednesday granted all her claims.
In her judgement that lasted for about two hours, 19 minutes the presiding judge, Justice Hadizat Shagari said “from the evidence of the principal witness, Ese Falae, the widow, the fact of the case speak for itself, the first defendant, Associated Airline and the second defendant, Nigeria Civil Aviation Agency cannot exonerate themselves from the circumstances surrounding the crash of the Aircraft that claimed the life of Deji Falae. In my view, the Plaintiffs succeed in their claims against the defendants, judgement is hereby entered in their favour as per their claims.
Nigeria Civil Aviation Agency is the second defendant in this suit.
The widow Ese Lynn Falae and her three children dragged the defendants before the court demanding for compensation in the sum of N245.5 million which they calculated their bread winner would have made in 15 years, less living expenses, cash discount and the statutory limit of One hundred thousand Dollars or in the alternative, the sums of N113,277,750, £160,740 and $19,000.
A 37 paragraphs statement of claim was filed before the Court on her behalf and her three children, Ayomide, a 15 year old SSS 2 student at Day Waterman College Abeokuta; Miss Omowonuola Falae 13, the only daughter, also a JSS3 student in the same college and Oreoluwa , a 7-year old primary three pupil at Corona School, Lagos.
The affidavit filed by Olajide Oyewole stated that Deji Falae was born on 9th of October, 1970 and was aged 42 at the time of his death. He was a Legal practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar. In 2013, at the time of his death, he was serving as Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Ondo State, Nigeria.
Until his death, he also operated a law firm under the name and style of Ayodeji Falae and company. He also carried on the business of building and construction under the name West -One Resources Limited.
With the consent of Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited, he was a passenger on board the defendant’s flight 361 that took off on 3 October, 2013 from Murtala Mohammed International Airport,Lagos to Akure, Ondo State.
As part of the Ondo State Government’s funeral arrangements of the late Olusegun Agagu, former Governor of Ondo State who died on 13th of September, 2013 in Lagos, the deceased and some other Ondo State Government Official were directed by the Governor of Ondo Gtate to support the family of late Agagu for Agagu’s funeral that was scheduled to hold on 4th of October, 2013.
On 3rd of October, 2013, Deji Falae, along with some Agagu family members, Ondo State Government officials, pall bearers boarded the defendant’s Flight 361 chartered to lift the remains of late Agagu from Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos to Akure Ondo State. At about 09.32 hours, and about a minute after take off from the Airport, the Aircraft crashed as a result of the wrongful act, neglect or default of the defendants. The deceased died as a result of the crash. As a result of this incident, the plaintiffs being the defendants of the deceased have suffered damages.