A credible military source has revealed that the wreckage of the Nigerian Airforce Alpha Jet fighter aircraft, NAF 475, that went missing last week may have been found in Bama, Borno State yesterday.
According to the source, the body of one of the pilots, Flight Lieutenant Chapele Ebiakpo was found alongside the wreckage of the jet. The body of the other pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa, is however still being searched for.
It will be recalled that Boko Haram, had earlier claimed responsibility for the crash after the Air Force had declared the Alpha Jet fighter aircraft, NAF 475, missing on March 31.
However, the source claimed last night that the jet, which took off from Maiduguri Airport crashed five minutes after take-off at an estimated altitude of 15,000 feet, explaining that at that height no missile by Boko Haram could have hit and brought it down.
“Given what we have seen, the jet could not have been hit by any missile. It must have been caused by a technical fault that would be revealed by ongoing investigations,” the source insisted.
The jet, according to Air Force spokesman, Commodore Edward Gabkwet, was on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops as part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North-east when it lost contact with the radar.
“The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 p.m. on March 31, 2021,” he said in a statement last week.