A file photo of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.
A military plane crashed in Kaduna State on Friday with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, believed to be on board, along with several other officers.
The Nigerian Air Force confirmed the incident via a statement issued shortly after the crash, but did not reveal the identities of the affected military personnel.
But several media reports said Lieutenant General Attahiru, who was appointed Chief of Staff on January 26, died in the crash.
Channels Television cannot yet confirm his death.
Air Force spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet, said the incident occurred near the Kaduna International Airport.
An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon.
Director of Public Relations and Information
— Nigerian Air Force (@NigAirForce) May 21, 2021
“An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon,” he said.
The incident was said to have occurred at about 6 pm while it was raining heavily.
The officers apparently were on their way to Kaduna State ahead of tomorrow’s passing out parade of soldiers from the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria.
The aircraft, with registration number, 5N-R203 was billed to land at the Nigerian Airforce Base in Mando area, before it diverted and attempted to land at the Kaduna airport.
At least 12 top military officers and crew members are believed to have been involved in the crash.
The Air Force has been involved in a couple of tragedies this year.
An Air Force jet supporting ground troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists went missing in north-east Borno in March.
In February, seven officials died after a military plane crashed in Abuja, the nation’s capital.