Dana Air crash: ‘Only two victim’s families are fully paid’
ONLY two families of the victims of the crashed Dana Air have been paid the balance of $70, 000, Controller, Claims of the airline’s local insurer, Prestige Assurance Plc, Mrs Josephine Gbuji, has said.
The payments were made based on the advice of the lawyers, Clyde & Co, who are represented by Yomi Oshikoya & Co.
She said aviation insurance requires foreign backing to accommodate the magnitude of the losses, adding that local insurers lack the capacity to do so.
Mrs. Gbuji told The Nation that her firm had paid the initial $30, 000 each to 81 families of Dana Air crash victims as at January 31, 2013.
“We have paid every passenger’s family who has come forward and have been able to prove their title the initial amount of $30, 000. From my own record, we have paid 81 families out of the lot; two passenger’s families have been paid the balance of $70, 000.
“This was after the two families got the letters of administration duly confirmed by the lawyers and they advised us on that,” she said.
According to her, the lawyers are in charge because there are many issues involved in confirming who the bereaved representatives of the passengers are.
She said the process was more rigorous for the balance of $70, 000, adding that the insurance company did not determine who collects what.
“The lawyers have to be thorough because if they do not do it well, there will be law suits later and they too would be held liable,” she said.
Mrs. Gbuji said nine families of beneficiaries, who were confirmed to them by the lawyers, got their cheques for $30, 000 on the 30th day after the crash happened, in conformity with international aviation laws, adding that the cheques were issued and sent to the lawyers who would disburse to the beneficiaries to ensure they got proper discharge.
“We have our funds here. So, each time we have advice, we issue cheques to those cleared. The cheques are written exactly the way the lawyers instructed,” she said.
However, an official of Yomi Oshikoya & Co, the representative law firm of Clyde & Co in Nigeria, said the lawyers were not disposed to discussing the issue with the press.
According to her, the firm is dealing with the solicitors to the beneficiaries of the airline crash victims. She refused to talk on the fate of those affected on ground.
This is because apart from the initial ‘hand outs’ to cushion the effect of their immediate losses, none of them has been paid any claim by the insurance firm.