Wednesday, July 4, 2012
7 years after crash in Lisa: BELLVIEW WAS BOMBED–Red Cross Chief
By FELIX ASIMOLE
Seven years after the crash of Bellview Boeing 737 flight 210 plane at Lisa, Ogun State, in which 117 persons died, it has been revealed that the aircraft was bombed. The Abuja-bound aircraft that took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, on October 22, 2005, crashed few minutes after it was airborne. A top official of the Red Cross, Professor Charles Ohiku, made the startling revelation in an exclusive interview with Sunday Sun in Lagos. Prof Ohiku, who led the Red Cross rescue team at the crash scene, said that unlike the recent Dana plane crash, no human skull was found at the scene of the Bellview crash because it was blown up.
“I headed the rescue team at the Bellview plane crash site at Lisa, Ogun State. That plane was blown. That is why the probe report can never come out till tomorrow. “That plane didn’t just drop from the sky. By the time we got there the following morning, we could not find even one human head. “You know, at the Dana plane crash site some incomplete human bodies and heads were recovered from the crash site. But in the case of Bellview crash there was no single head or a skull. Quote me. “I was there as a representative of the Nigerian Red Cross, and I can tell you categorically that no single skull was seen or picked up in a crash of that magnitude and the number of passengers involved.
“How can anyone explain the fact that with 117 passengers and crew members in the plane no single head or skull was found during rescue operation, even though there was no survivor?” Asked why anyone would bomb the plane at that time when there was no Boko Haram or any other serious security threat to the country, Prof Ohiku said some people might have felt that somebody in that plane, who was considered too close to the President at that time, was being groomed to take over from him. He recalled that Dr Iyabo Obasanjo, who was then Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, gave his team a note to the General Hospital and, “then we packed them (mangled bodies) in a case, the one they use in packing corpses.”
The Red Cross chief was emphatic that there was no single head, “even as strong as the skull is,” when his team got to the scene. “My parents had been at Lisa 10 years before that crash, so immediately the plane crashed I was one of those who got there first in the morning. And many people didn’t know where Lisa was before the crash that brought the quiet village to limelight.” He continued: “Why have they not released the black box findings? They will not do so even till tomorrow. And you all know the personalities in that plane. One of them was Waziri Mohammed, chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) then. Majority of the people on that plane came from Ota Farm to board the plane.
They came from Ota Farm to Lagos to board that plane at Ikeja Airport, and the plane landed at Lisa, Ogun State, imagine that. “The general rumour at that time, mark my word, was that Obasanjo was preparing that very man, the NRC chairman, for the presidency. We found legs, hands and some other human parts, but no head. I would like somebody to explain how that came about,” Prof Ohiku said. Among those who died in the crash were Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), chairman of the defunct People’s Bank, Mrs Maria Sokenu; and the Post Master-General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Argungu.
Also on the list of casualties were the Personal Assistant to the Post Master-General, Mr S. Eneware; chairman of Nigerian States and Local Government SMEs, Mr J. Agharitte; and Mr L. Adele, a South African television producer.