by Solomon Osadolo
Three months after the helicopter conveying Patrick Yakowa, the late Kaduna governor; Andrew Owoeye Aziza, the former national security adviser; and four others crashed in Bayelsa, the interim report of the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) has been submitted to the Naval Headquarters.
The crashed helicopter was a Nigerian Navy helicopter and at the instance of the Nigerian navy, an Accident Investigation Board (AIB) was constituted by the Nigerian Air Force.
The report stated that the crash was not due to sabotage but was a result of either human error or material failure.
The Nigerian Navy released a statement on Thursday, signed by its spokesman Commodore Kabiru Aliyu. According to the statement, “The Investigation which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers – Agusta Westland — has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both.
“However, to determine the actual cause of the crash, there would be the need to tear down the engine of the helicopter in order to carry out detailed forensic analysis. This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine.
“It is important to emphasise that an independent police report has equally ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Further information on the investigation would be made public when available.”
Azazi and Yakowa had on December 15, 2012, after attending the burial rites for the father of the special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Oronto Douglas, boarded the ill-fated helicopter on their way to Port Harcourt from Bayelsa.