The Nigerian Air Force on Friday gave the names of the two pilots in its Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar days ago as Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele, adding that their whereabouts remain unknown.
NAF, in a statement by its spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet on Friday morning, said the missing aircraft might have crashed.
NaijaNewsNow reports that the fighter jet that was involved in the war against insurgency in the North-East, was declared missing by the Air Force on March 31.
The statement reads: “Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed.
“The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown. The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.
“Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on the ground.
“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.”