Naira Marley: The management of Executive Jets Services Limited has written to the Honorable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, apologizing for the unauthorized 13th June, 2020 flight to Abuja which conveyed controversial Nigerian artiste Naira Marley (real names Azeez Fashola) from Lagos to Abuja in violation of the terms of approval granted it to operate a special charter flight from Lagos to Abuja and Abuja to Lagos on June 13.
In a letter addressed to the Honourable Minister, dated 15th June, 2020 with permit ref: FMA/ATMD/0175/V/V/1268 dated 11th June, 2020 being a flight approved to convey Justice Adegoke Okogie from Lagos to Abuja. Chairman/CEO of the company, DR. Sam Iwuajoku said when he looked at the flight manifest and saw the name Fashola Babatunde, he thought it was the Honourable Minister of Works and his men going to Abuja but he didn’t know that it was a “bunch of useless people”.
“The flight was to carry a Judge to Abuja on Sunday 14th, 2020 as requested and permit was granted based on the application, but unfortunately when I called the Judge on Saturday morning to inform him that we have the permit, he then said that he has reached Abuja already with a different flight that someone gave him a lift to Abuja.
“So on Saturday morning 13th June, 2020 my staff called me that they have a chartered flight to Abuja and that the passengers are already in the lounge as a rule passenger manifest is always sent to me before any departure, when I went through the manifest and I saw Fashola Babatunde I thought it was the Honourable Minister of Works going to Abuja with his men, so we decided to do the flight since is a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I didn’t know that it was a bunch of useless people.
“We are very sorry for this mistake and we promise that this will not happen again”, he wrote in the letter.
Find below a copy of the letter as forwarded:
In a related development, the federal government has gone ahead to suspend the operations of the Executive Jet Services indefinitely for violation of the terms of approval granted it.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, announced the suspension on Monday at the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 briefing in Abuja.
He said the airline would also be fined heavily while the pilot that operated the controversial flight will also be sanctioned.
Sirika said the airline operator was not given approval to fly artiste Naira Marley, who performed at a musical concert, organised by Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the FCT Mobile Court had since shut down Jabi Lake Mall for two weeks for holding the concert in violation of the protocols on social distancing to control the spread of coronavirus.
The closure followed the arrest of the organisers of the concert by the FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task Force on COVID-19 Restrictions.