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Aviation experts are divided as to the cause of the crash of the helicopter belonging to Bristow Helicopters in Lagos on Wednesday 12 August 2015. One disturbing fact that is emerging is that a helicopter carrying 12 passengers plus oilrig cargo may have been overloaded. Our experts opine that even small private aircrafts, prop or jet, usually do not carry more than twelve persons including the crew. Similar aircrafts (not helicopters), owned and operated by Tunde Oremule’s airline which are occasionally chartered, like Governor Agagu’s plane crash, and there are strong indications that this copter, which was carrying twelve persons and unweighed luggage and rig materials was overdoing it. Was the helicopter certified to carry only eight persons?

The experts inform us that, as it has happened on previous occasions onboard the Mediterranean illegal migration voyages, passengers moving en masse from port to starboard or vice versa have caused a serious listing and capsize of the ship. In the case of this helicopter, a mere movement of one or two passengers to the other side may have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back or the smoking gun in explanation of this catastrophe. It is believed that the heli was a Sikorsky which is the helicopter favoured by the US in its marine and land-base operations, although different Sikorsky have different limitations. Gladly, some passengers are alive and will definitely be able to throw some light on the actual cause for this broad daylight fatal crash.


When you are approaching the Oworonsoki part of the Third Mainland Bridge from Lagos, you’ll notice, on your right, a big Coca-Cola billboard juxtaposed alongside an old derelict house seemingly sitting on a tor. The old building has a long history of Lagos about it, from the Shaw family to the Georgius-Cole family and the entire site of the land which abuts the river on three sides is known as Oko Gboungboun (Echo Farm) and ownership of the land is legally vested in the Georgius-Cole family, now represented by Mrs Martins, Sheni Cole, Dapo Cole and Kofo Cole. It is believed that the Oba of Oworonsoki, Toyin Saliu, on being crowned circa 2002, attempted to seize the land, which had been sold to the Shaw family by his predecessors and the land grab was resisted by the Georgius-Coles. This is the land which is the bank of the Trios Rivieres holding where actions were being coordinated for the rescue of the twelve victims of the Bristow Helicopter crash on Wednesday 12 August 2015 and which resulted in the loss of six lives. The Bristow company itself is an old well-established helicopter service which was spearheaded by the late illustrious Lagosian businessman, Chief S. L. Edu. Late Chief Edu’s son, Chief Demola Edu, now holds sway over the company and they specialise in lifting oil services workers by helicopters on short journeys between their Ikeja base, oil ports of Port Harcourt and Warri and oil rig platforms. We shall elaborate on the matter of the land and the history of Bristow Helicopters in our future edition.


Now that we have received confirmation of the demise of the Ooni of Ife, we can recall an incident that occurred when the late Ooni had his coronation in 1980. A great Lagosian socialite, Ladipo (Bobo) Doherty was the Master of Ceremonies in the hall on D-day. Bobo Doherty, originally of Ile-Ife royalty descent, had lived his entire life in Lagos, Germany and London. In London, he married Tejumade Alakija, daughter of Rex Ibikunle Alakija of Lagos. Bobo and Teju returned to Nigeria in the mid 70s and he continued with his socialite life, moving around southwest Nigeria, Osogbo today, Ijebu Ode tomorrow. He was also the proprietor of the most popular Lagos Night club of those days, the Mamakoko in Surulere. He was also very close to the recently departed Ooni who was, at that time, an accomplished car dealer. Bobo featured in many Lagos social circles including the Doma Club. His popularity was further enhanced when the tall, handsome, always smiling and ever joyous Bobo featured solo in a huge billboard advertising that made Gulder Beer the second most popular larger in Nigeria, second only to Star Beer. Bobo, on account of this popular advert, became known as GULDERMAN. Bobo’s younger brother, Abiodun (ex Igbobi College) had trained in Utersen, Germany with the German Air Force, along with Jimmy Yates, Fela Nathan-Mash, Moses Gowon, Ola Ogunmekan, Braimoh and Ogunbiyi. Sadly, on their return to Nigeria, only the northern chaps in their midst were commissioned as Air Force Officers and when Abbey, Ogunmekan and others protested this unfairness to Western Region Governor, General Adebayo, he arranged for them to be commissioned as short service commission officers into the Nigerian Army. Late Ola, we recall, took part in the unsuccessful 1976 coup d’état and was executed by firing squad for the failed coup d’état. Ola was married to Kunbi, first child of corporate lawyer and businessman, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo and it would indeed be a double jeopardy for the Chief as another son-in-law, the Air Force’s Martin Luther (ex St Gregory’s College), would, many years later, be in a classic déjà vu, executed for his part in the failed coup d’état against General Ibrahim Babangida. Anyway, Bobo had gone all out to make the coronation of Oba Sijuwade a huge success in 1980 but sadly, right in the aisle of the events hall, he collapsed, breathed his last and was pronounced DOA (Death On Arrival) at the Ife Hospital. You can now understand why ace broadcaster, Jimi Disu, has vowed not to go anywhere near Ile Ife until the departed Oba is safely and securely interred or “whatever” as he believes that a la Bobo Doherty, and Abobaku (partner in death) is being sought by the cultural belief that the Oba’s coronation and obsequies must be attended by the death of a selected person. Major Rtd. Abiodun Doherty, husband of Obia nee Okwesa, whose daughter, “Mama” lost her life in the unfortunate Dana Air crash and is interred in the Ile Ife Royal Court Cemetery, will be in Ife for the obsequies and the coronation of the new Ooni of Ife.

Lagos Blog tells it as it is!