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“He was a very gentle person” Parents of Lt. Adeyemi Sowole, Co-Pilot of the Crashed Naval Helicopter recount their Last Moments with their Son



He was aged 32, got married on March 26th 2011 to his wife, Eniola and had his first daughter, Teniola barely nine months ago. He was the bread winner of his family and his parents are still alive. That is the sad story of Lt. David Adeyemi Sowole, the co-pilot of the ill-fated Navy helicopter that crashed on Saturday in Bayelsa state.

At his home in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos, The Nation captured the gloomy mood of his parents as they mourned their son.

Hid dad, Solomon Kolawole Sowole said he heard the tragic news of his son’s death on “Koko inu Iwe Iroyin”, a Yoruba language newspaper review programme on Sunday morning.

He described his late son as “a very gentle, honest, humble, trustworthy and highly disciplined person, who does not want people to deceive other people. He was a man who believed in sincerity to all and malice to none.”

He said he last spoke with his son on Friday, when he called from Warri, Delta State, where he went on a relief duty for three weeks. He said he had instructions to stay back in Warri because he would be involved in a special assignment.

On Friday, his mother said she was weak generally in the body and he asked me to take her to the hospital. He had earlier called my wife and they discussed. Thereafter, he asked me to arrange to take her to the hospital. During the night, my wife could not sleep and was complaining of body pains. At about 6 am on Saturday, his younger brother drove their mother to the hospital,” he said.

Sowole said he discussed with his son about his job. “I asked him about his job and he told me it was okay. He asked after everybody, his brothers, his sisters, his mother and every other member of the family. “

His Mum, Olufunke Sowole, while recounting her last conversation with her son said he was initially due to be back in Lagos on Saturday, the day he flew in the crashed helicopter. She added that he called her when he was about to board the chopper at Okoroba for Port Harcourt that fateful Saturday and assured her that he would be back soon. She said she discussed with her son for about 20 minutes on the telephone and that there was no sign that something would go wrong.

He called me several times and asked me to go to the hospital. When I would not go, he called his father and insisted that he must make me to go to the hospital. He asked after everybody in the house. It never occurred to me that he would not be back,” she lamented.

According to his father, the family became apprehensive when they heard the news on the radio on Saturday that there was a helicopter crash somewhere in Bayelsa State.

We called all his mobile phone numbers, but we couldn’t make any contact with him. When I visited his mother in the hospital, I couldn’t tell her anything because of the state of her health. While we were listening to the news on the television that night, a boy came from Warri to Lagos and called his younger brother, Owolabi. I found the call rather unusual and concluded that something must have happened.”

From the account of his parents, he was a man who was well loved by his family. He left behind a little daughter and his wife. They must be going through a difficult period now and we express our deepest condolences to his family. May God grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Lt. David Adeyemi Sowole  was the co-pilot of the helicopter that crashed in Bayelsa state on Saturday 15th December 2012 killing all six people on board. The other occupants of the helicopter were Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa; the former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi; Dauda Tsoho, an aide to Governor Yakowa; Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal, an aide to former National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi and Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba, the pilot.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Madam the Madam

    December 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    So young and handsome. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

  2. joy

    December 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    so sad. RIP. May the good lord comfort his family.

  3. Teefah

    December 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Terribly sad. I pray his soul rests, and his family finds peace in their grief.

  4. sarafina

    December 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Rest In Peace Sire!

  5. Baba Olowo

    December 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    How sad!

  6. BSR

    December 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    May his soul rest in peace and May God comfort his family. This at least shows care in some sense that there were other people on the chopper not just Yakowa and Azazi. The others were also important.

  7. beauty805

    December 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Oh God! So touching. RIP

  8. fashionandstylepolice

    December 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    So so sad. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

  9. Temitope Adewoye

    December 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    very sad, may his soul rest in peace.

  10. Idak

    December 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    May God, the only true father of the fatherless and husband of the widow be with his wife and young daughter.
    May the pain and lacerated souls of his parents be ministered to by God himself. May they all find grace in these terrible times.
    My thoughts and prayers are with them.

  11. iamfascinating

    December 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I pray for the family, especially the wife and daughter, God will be your protector, provider and healer, in Jesus name, amen.

  12. Bisola

    December 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    my heart is broken from reading this… sad…i dunno how his wife must be feeling and his daughter will neva know her father. I’m short of words at this point…RIP SIR!

  13. ebrufles

    December 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    rest in peace

  14. Miss K

    December 19, 2012 at 12:06 am

    What a sad loss. May God comfort his family at this difficult time

  15. Abby

    December 19, 2012 at 1:54 am

    A family friend…..words cant emphasize how great of a loss this is. May God comfort his family. RIP bro 🙁

  16. lara

    December 19, 2012 at 2:05 am

    life, oh life…God knows best. For me, learnt that everything happens for good. My heart felt condolence to the family, esp the daughter and his wife. hmmm, A young life cut short.

  17. Adedoyin

    December 19, 2012 at 2:41 am

    God please console the family.

  18. jane

    December 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Look at him,a very promising and talented young man whose life and the life of others were wasted in that ill fated helicopter crash.since the incident happened,all that i hear bieng mentioned are Y

  19. jane

    December 19, 2012 at 8:09 am

    may their gentle and young souls rest in peace.these young ones need to be celebrated more than those two old men always mentioned as if the were the only dead in that mishap.

  20. Teegold

    December 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

    may his gentle soul rest in peace!amen!!!

  21. Lee

    December 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    May his soul rest in peace. Such a beautiful young lady has become a widow. May God comfort her and her little baby. It is well…..

  22. pynk

    December 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

    to think this poor woman got widowed at 30 with an 8 month old baby. May God grant Eniola the solace and peace she needs to get through this. Amen.

  23. base girl

    December 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

    so sorry eniola bout ur hubby i pray God wud strengthen u during dis period of grief . it is well wit u nd your family . i know no amount of “take heart” nd sympathies wud bring him back , but be sure dat God wud always kip his memory alive in ur hrt .

  24. Debs

    December 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Oh what a loss!. May God be with his family left behind. The Government/Navy must ensure his family, wife & daughter get the necessary emotional/financialsupport at this time. Navy his daughter must get full scholarship till masters.

  25. Omotola

    December 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Yemi, Sowole, may your soul rest in perfect peace. I love you, but God loves you more…. I pray that God strengthen the hearts of your family members, your wife and your baby. Amen…

  26. ayodele

    December 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

    He’s a true man, never look down on one, caring and loving. I miss u 10:25:22 AM.

  27. Inebaby

    December 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hmmm! So sad… I pray to God to give his family most especially his wife and daughter, the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss! Sir, may your soul rest in perfect Peace, Amen.

  28. Ayaba

    December 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    RIP….. May the good God comfort his family.

  29. isaid!!

    December 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you bellanaija for posting this.At least we are beginning to see how the other families are suffering as well from this tragedy and not lumping the others that died in the ill fated flight as “mere others” while mentioning only the names of the prominent Nigerians on board. Eternal rest grant unto all their souls oh lord!!!

  30. neon

    December 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    finally! someone talks about the other people that died in that crash! ive hated how its just been Gov Yakowa and Gen Azazi being mentioned. May all their souls rest in peace.

  31. Bleed blue

    December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    how upsetting that his father had to find out that way. C’mon NEMA (or wohever should be responsible for these things), there should be due process for informing family members of bereavement! So sad. 🙁

  32. Nimz

    December 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Sowole, you were such a nice guy. I remember like yesterday our last conversation. I relive it every second. I was praying for a miracle when I heard you were co-pilot. Alas, you left. Would we tell Teniola you died as a result of government incapability? It shouldn’t have been you. God knows best. Heaven has received yet another great personality in you. May your soul rest in peace, Sowole. Till we meet to part no more.

  33. Nana

    December 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Two young fathers just wasted like that, leaving behind two young widows and two young daughters. what will their daughters be told? Ummu and Eniola only God, just God will be your strength take heart!

  34. Peaches

    December 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    BN…. Thanks for this post… most appreciated.. In yoruba they say “omi leyan”. Adeyemi Sowole is related to my mum’s family and it I got to meet his dad last month on his trip to the UK and I didnt really know his son was a Pilot (Especially of the ill-fated flight) When the news broke and no names of the ‘others’ were mentioned, I went on a wild goose chase after my mum told me what had happened. (What a sad moment. While searching online to get a full story, I stumbled on an article posted on 18th of Dec with a wedding picture… the pretty woman (Eniola) in the picture was my school senior in school. I was in total shock and dumbfounded… for me this was a surreal moment. I only pray that God be with the families during this difficult time. A life so young and full of promises is no more. My sincere condolences to families and friends affected by the crash. Thank God there’s clarify for those who lost their lives. May they all rest in the bosom of the Almighty. Lets continue to pray for country….. God bless us all.

  35. Angela Dickson

    December 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    May ur soul rest in d Lord, Amen.

  36. fakuade ayodele

    July 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

    yemi sowole is my extended family. I loved him and couldn’t forgot his time together. I remembered the day we had an accident coming back from officers mess in Ibadan. the next day was Oct. 1st….
    for the great works that you put out , for love that you show and for the smile you put on faces. you will always be remembered. I love you and yes I cried, oh I wish my cry could bring you back. so I guess only God knows why. God be with u and us till we meet again. yes I believed in reunion, and am Gonna ask why?

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