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Court Orders Associated Airlines to Pay Deji Falae’s Family N240m for His Death


The soul of Deji Falae would at least be soothed now that a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited to pay the sum of N246m as compensation for his untimely death in 2013.
Deji was a son to former presidential candidate and Minister, Chief Olu Falae.
Falae, who was Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Ondo State, among other people lost their lives on October 3, 2013, when an Associated Aviation aircraft, conveying the remains of a former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, from Lagos to Ondo for burial, crashed at the Lagos airport.
The aircraft reportedly crashed just outside the aerodrome at about 9.32am, just a minute after it took off.
The widow of the late commissioner, Ese, and three children had sued Associated Airline, praying the court to hold that the airline’s negligence was responsible for Falae’s death.
They urged the court to declare that Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority failed in their obligation of ensuring the safety of the passengers aboard the Flight 361.
They sought compensation in the sum of $100,000 as general damages as well as another N219,906,250 “which the deceased would have earned in 15 years as a lawyer, a commissioner and owner of a construction firm had he not died.”
In a judgment on Wednesday, Justice Hadizat Shagari held that the airline and the NCAA could not exonerate themselves from Falae’s death.
The Judge held, “From the evidence of the principal witness, Ese Falae, the window, the fact of the case speaks for itself.
“The first defendant, the Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited, 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. Judgment is hereby entered in their favour as per their claims,” the court held.

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