An Associated Airlines cabin crew member that survived the October 3, 2013 air crash at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Miss. Oluwatoyin Samson, has accused the airline of abandoning her 10 months after the crash. Associated airline aircraft Embraer120, with Flight 361 that carried the corpse of the former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, for burial crashed on take-off from Lagos Airport bound for Akure, killing 15 passengers out of the 20 that were on board.
But in a swift reaction, the spokesman for the airline, Mr. Alex Emode, said that there was no iota of truth in what the cabin crew member said, adding that the airline has tried its best as a responsible organisation. He added that the two of the cabin crew members were taken to the hospital in South Africa but that Samson decided to discharge herself from the hospital. Emode further disclosed that Samson has used four lawyers, including Capt Dele Ore, to write the airline on this matter and the airline has equally directed its lawyers to respond.
The spokesman said that the airline is acting in accordance with the law by first paying initial compensation to families of those who lost their lives, adding that the next stage is to pay those that were incapacitated. He stated that what the airline wanted to do was take her case on humanitarian ground but now that she has written the airline through her lawyer, there is nothing the airline can do but to direct it lawyers to respond. Speaking with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos Thursday in Lagos, Samson lamented that after her brief treatment in South Africa and her forced return to the country, the airline had refused to compensate her as recommended by the Montreal Convention.
She further explained that instead of paying her compensation, the airline had continually insisted that she was not a staff of the ill-fated airline despite the fact she has been a cabin crew with the suspended airline since 2000. She alleged that the management has challenged her to go to court if she feels aggrieved, adding that when the present management of the airline took over in 2009, all the staff were given temporary suspension without pay in June 2012.
Samson added that before all the workers were given temporary suspension from their employment without pay, the airline owed the staff about two months salaries. The survivor stated that three weeks before the October 3 crash, the airline operated a flight to Bauchi with the same crew that died in the crash; Embraer 120 5N-BJY, calling on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority( NCAA) and other stakeholders to impress it on the airline to compensate her in accordance with the law.