The wreckage of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, fighter jet that went missing last week may have been found in Bama, Borno State, an authoritative military source has disclosed on Sunday.

According to the source, the wreckage was found with the body of one of the pilots intact.

The pilot was Flight Lieutenant Chapele Ebiakpo.

The body of the other pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa, is still being searched for.

The source further explained that troops on the ground have been asked to intensify their search.

Recall that the Air Force had declared the Alpha Jet fighter aircraft, NAF 475, missing on March 31, saying a few days later that it might have crashed.

Few days later, the terrorist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the crash, but the military refuted the claim.

The source further said 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.

He said, “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 jet, according to Air Force spokesman, Air 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.

Gabkwet said in a statement last week, “The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08pm on 31 March 2021.”


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