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The claim is contained in a statement on the crash of the Cessna 208, 5N-BMJ in Yola, Adamawa State. The statement was signed by Joe Obi, an aide to the Aviation Minister. But contrary to the statement that the Ministry began a "search and rescue" operation to locate Governor Suntai's crash site, SaharaReporters learnt that the crash victims were presumed dead for several hours, well before any search team could reach them.
Some sources said that the rescue team did not reach the governor until around 8 p.m. (Nigerian time), although the plane had crashed at about 5:30 p.m.
Mr. Suntai is an aviation enthusiast who owns two aircraft and a helicopter. Aviation sources say he also owns an airstrip which he built with embezzled funds in his village.
The governor obtained a pilot’s license from the Nigerian College of Aviation in Zaria in 2010 and had completed numerous solo flights.
The governor flew the plane from Jalingo to Yola airport but lost contact with Yola air control around 5:20p.m. With no rescue in sight, all the occupants of the plane were initially presumed dead. Although there is no specific medical information regarding Mr. Suntai's condition, it was learned that the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, has visited the injured governor.
Mr. Suntai and his injured passengers are currently receiving treatment at the Adamawa Standard German Hospital in Yola. One of the state commissioners described the governor’s condition as stable. Governor Suntai's daughter, Mariam, said in a Blackberry status update that her father was okay but injured.