Abuja crash: Bodies of 7 NAF officers laid to rest

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Abuja crash

The seven Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officers who died in the Sunday air crash have been buried at the National Cemetery, Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja.

The men died in the Beechcraft King Air B350i which crashed a short distance from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting engine failure.

The deceased include the Captain, Fl Lt. Haruna Gadzama; Fl. Lt. Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist); Fl. Sgt. Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist); Sgt. Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

At the funeral service was the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Salihi Magashi (retd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Atahiru, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao and the family members of the deceased.

Their coffins were draped in Nigeria’s flag and sitting on each coffin were the shoes and caps of the deceased.

The brief biographies of the deceased are:

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Flight Lieutenant Chiroma Haruna Gadzama, the pilot of the crashed plane, was born in January 11, 1990 in Kaduna. He hailed from Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force as a member od Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 62 ON 14 August 2010 and commissioned pilot on 14 August 2020. Until his death, he was serving as a Squadron Pilot at 307 Executive Airlift Group, Abuja. He was not married.

Flight Lieutenant Piyo Henry Piyo was born on 11 May 1991 in Jos. He hailed from Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 62 on 14 August 2010 and commissioned Pilot on 12 September 2015. Until his death, he was serving as a Squadron Pilot at the 307 Executive Airlift Group Abuja. He was single.

Flying Officer Micheal Ifeanyi Okpara was born on 11 September 1995 at Takum in Taraba State. He hailed from Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 65 on 21 September 2013 and commissioned Pilot Officer on 13 October 2018. He was married with two children

Warrant Officer Bassey Asuquo Etim, was born on 24 December 1973 in Kaduna. He hailed from Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 15 July 1996.

Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Ojo Olawunmi was born on 30 March 1983. He hailed from Ekiti South Local Government Area of Ekiti State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 1 March 2002.

Aircraftman Adewale Stephen Johnson was born on June 9, 1996. He hailed from Ibadan South East Local Government Area of Oyo State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 5 August 2017.