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Iran Missile: I wasn’t inside crashed Ukrainian Airline

Valentine Chinyem

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A 30-year-old Nigerian man, Mr Olayinka Bernard Adeleye, has debunked news of his death in Ukranian Airline in Tehran, Iran, last week.

Adeleye’s photograph was published in place of a compatriot, Dauda Onoruoiza, who died last week alongside other 176 passengers in the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 800 crash in Tehran.

I am alive, he told reporters in Lagos.

Adeleye is Head of Department at Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) in Odi-Olowo-Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Mushin Local Government Area.

The security agent said those who used his photograph to identify another Nigerian who supposedly died in the crash caused him and his family serious trauma.

He said his colleagues at work and neighbours now address him as “the man that died in the crash”.

According to him, the development was giving him sleepless nights as some of his neighbours address him as a ghost.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday at his lawyers’ office in Papa Ajao, Mushin, Adeleye said he had not recovered from the shock.

The security agent said his mother collapsed when she heard that his photograph was published in the media as a victim of the airline crash, even though he had never boarded an aircraft in his life.

Besides his mother, who was taken to a hospital, Adekeye said his wife, who just gave birth, remained traumatised, following the publication of his photograph.

He said the “fake news” was even more disturbing, given the fact that it was published on his birthday: January 10, 2020.

The Mushin indigene said he had engaged a lawyer to write the media outfit that committed the infraction as the publication had dented his reputation.

Adeleye said: “My immediate reaction when I learnt my photograph was published in some media outfits as the man that died in a plane crash in Tehran on my birthday was that of shock, fear and disappointment. Why should anybody wish a young man like me dead? I was even more disturbed when I learnt that my mother collapsed and was taken to a hospital about the incident. She was told I died in an accident and they later explained to her it was a plane crash.

“She knew I did not travel anywhere; yet, the news devastated her. As I recovered from the trauma, I had to do a video call to her to convince her that I was alive. Those behind this have caused too much trouble to my family. What if my mother had died?

“I think the police and relevant agencies should investigate why people do a thing like this to embarrass people going about their own business.”

Also, Adeleye’s lawyer Femi Martins said though the name of his client was not mentioned in the false publication, but the photograph attached to the rumours was his photograph.

The Nation