NAF boss, Air Marshal SB Abubakar
NAF boss, Air Marshal SB Abubakar

Sokoto Fracas: NAF Delegation Condoles with Governor, Families of Victims

Sequel to the fracas between some Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel and some youths at Mabera Area of Sokoto Metropolis on Sunday, 20 October 2019, which led to the death of 2 persons, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has dispatched a high powered delegation led by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC), Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, under which 119 Forward Operating Base (119 FOB) Sokoto falls, to undertake a fact finding mission and pay condolence visits to the deceased’s families as well as the Executive Governor of the State.

In line with the CAS’ directive, the AOC TAC has paid a condolence visit to the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Right Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, while the Commander 119 FOB has visited the families of the deceased. Furthermore, based on Headquarters NAF directives, the AOC has also constituted an independent Board of Inquiry (BOI), comprising officers from outside Sokoto State, to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the fracas with a view to determining the level of culpability of NAF personnel, who have since been placed on close arrest.

3. The NAF regrets the loss of lives and injury to civilians occasioned by the unfortunate incident, which also left some NAF personnel with severe injuries. We once more express our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and extend our sympathies to those injured in the fracas. We wish to state unequivocally that no stone will be left unturned to unravel the circumstances that led to the unfortunate loss of lives.

4. The NAF, as a highly disciplined and professional force, wishes to reiterate that it does not tolerate or condone acts of indiscipline or violation of human rights of citizens. We wish to assure members of the public that, in line with the NAF’s established procedures, this case will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken to punish any NAF personnel found culpable, while addressing the root causes in order to avoid a reoccurrence.

5. The public will be kept abreast of the outcome of the investigation. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force

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NAF Reacts to Reports on Accident Victims in Jos
1. The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to trending posts on Twitter alleging that 2 accident victims rushed to the 563 NAF Hospital (563 NAFH – formerly 347 NAFH) Jos on 20 October 2019 were allegedly refused emergency medical care purportedly because of the absence of a Police report. While we sympathize with the friends and loved ones of the victims on their unfortunate loss, the NAF wishes to state categorically that the facts presented in the report were inaccurate.

2. For the avoidance of doubt, the public is kindly informed that the 2 patients were indeed rushed to the 563 NAF Hospital as reported. However, they were brought in by personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC). Hence, the issue of requesting for a Police report never arose. Besides, in keeping with the hippocratic oath, all NAF Hospitals have a standing instruction to stabilize and, where possible, treat all accident victims without asking for payment or Police report.

3. In this particular case, information at our disposal indicates that one of the victims was brought in dead, while the other victim had evidence of severe head injury, which the Hospital did not have the capacity to handle. Accordingly, the immediate caregivers were promptly advised to move the surviving victim to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) or the Plateau State Specialist Hospital for further treatment. At no time throughout their stay at the Hospital was any Police report demanded.

4. The NAF, as a highly disciplined and professional force, has standard procedures in dealing with such cases. A Police report is seldom required as the NAF Air Provost are empowered to handle such cases within NAF Bases and liaise with the Nigeria Police Force, where required.

5. The NAF once more sympathizes with the families of the victims. However, we wish to advise the public to please discountenance the portion of the Tweet thread that referred to a demand for Police report as a prerequisite for treatment, as it is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

6. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force