By John Abbah – 15th, June 2020
Hadi Sirika, the minister for aviation, says the Executive Jet flight that conveyed Naira Marley to Abuja for a concert was approved for a different purpose, and therefore the Federal Government has suspended the operations of the private jet charter and aircraft maintenance firm, Executive Jet Services, for flouting COVID-19 regulations by flying the Musician, Azeez Fashola, to Abuja.
Speaking during the daily briefing on the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Monday, Sirika said the flight company has been suspended indefinitely.
He also said the flight captain will be sanctioned for providing false information.
According to the minister, the flight was approved to convey Adefope Okoji, a justice, for an official assignment.
“We considered judiciary as an essential service to be delivered. The approval was for June 14, 2020, however, we gave a leeway of 24 hours because due to operational reasons they may choose to fly earlier or later,” he said.
“The operator chose to fly on the 13th. The operator is Executive Jet Services.”
Sirika also read the letter which contained approval for the flight and emphasised on the parts which read “ensure that this operation is strictly and diligently based on the protocol guiding the operation under COVID-19”.
“The operation is a clear violation of our approval to which we take very seriously. Execujet Services is hereby suspended indefinitely. We will also fine them maximumly according to the law,” he continued.
“The captain of the flight would also be sanctioned for giving wrong information to the control tower and also appropriately in accordance with our law.
“We don’t take things lightly in civil aviation because it means the lives of people. We are highly regulated”
Sirika said aviation authorities would escalate the mechanisms already put in place for flight approvals to deter people from contravening laid down rules.