4 June 2012

Nigeria: Dana Plane Crash - SARAP Asks ICPC to Probe Corruption in Transport, Aviation Sectors

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to urgently begin a thorough investigation into allegations of corruption in the transport and aviation sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SERAP, a human rights group, made the request on Monday in a petition sent to the Chairman of ICPC, Mr Ekpo Nta.

A copy of the petition, dated June 4, 2012 and signed by SERAP's Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, was made available to NAN in Lagos.

SERAP said: "There must be an investigation into the allegation that the Ministry of Aviation may have allowed the registration of the Dana plane which crashed in Lagos on Sunday June 3, 2012, despite reports that the plane was purchased with known pre-existing safety issues and a past safety concerns record.

"We are seriously concerned that this is not the first time an air mishap has claimed a large number of people primarily because of the systemic corruption in the aviation sector and the lack of due diligence or complicity of the regulatory authorities in allowing the registration and operation of aircraft with safety concerns."

The organisation also expressed concern that pervasive corruption was responsible for the failure to provide an immediate emergency response system that could have helped to reduce the casualties of the crash.

SERAP said: "In the transport sector, including the aviation industry, corruption starts right from the registration of unsafe vehicles and aircraft as a result of official bribes.

"The transport sector is plagued by deadly accidents primarily due to a combination of decrepit infrastructure, human negligence; and high level official corruption and the lack of political will at the very top to deter, prevent and combat the problem.

"This has resulted in unnecessary loss of lives of innocent citizens, while virtually crippling the sector.

"At the same time, petty corruption continues to milk motorists their hard earned cash," the organisation added.

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