Pathologist’s repeated absence infuriates Dana crash’s coroner

Dana Air
Dana Air

The absent pathologist is the Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University.

For the second consecutive day, the absence of John Obafunwa, the Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, stalled the coroner’s inquest into the cause of last year’s Dana Air crash.

Mr. Obafunwa’s inability to attend Tuesday’s inquest to continue his testimony did not go down well with the coroner, who threatened to close the pathologist’s testimony.

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

The absence of Mr. Obafunwa forced the coroner to extend the inquest till July 3 and 4 when the pathologist would continue with his testimony.

Mr. Komolafe had initially billed to close the inquest this week.

The pathologist was unable to continue with his cross examination Monday due to a “crisis” at the Lagos State University, LASU, where he is the Vice-Chancellor, according to Akinjide Bakare, counsel to the Lagos State Government.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bakare reiterated that the professor of Forensic Medicine was absent due to his “university duties.”

“We are sorry, we did not envisage this after what happened yesterday (Monday),” Mr. Bakare said.

The Dana air mishap of June 3, 2012, claimed the lives of 153 people on board the aircraft as well as about 10 victims on the ground.

Mr. Obafunwa’s cross examination would help to shed more light on the details of the post-mortem results of the crash victims, according to Bolaji Ayorinde, counsel to Dana Air.

“He has now foisted on us two days of unnecessary adjournment. It is an avoidable situation,” Mr. Ayorinde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said.

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