Executive Jets Services Limited, an airline suspended by the federal government for conveying music artiste, Azeez ‘Naira Marley’ Fashola for a concert in Abuja, has reacted to its suspension.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, had on Monday announced the suspension of the airline during a Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja.
Sirika said that the flight that took Marley to Abuja was approved for a different purpose, to convey a service Justice from Lagos to Abuja and back, on official assignment. (Judiciary considered essential services).
He added that the Flight operator violated its approval and operations of the flight company have been suspended indefinitely and will also be fined. Sirika also noted that the Flight Captain will also be sanctioned for providing false information.
However, in a letter dated June 15, 2020, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sam Iwuajoku, has apologized to the federal government over what it described as a “mix-up”
Iwuajoku said he gave the approval for the flight thinking the passenger was the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola.
In the letter entitled, “Re: Flight For 13/06/2020 Done By Executive Jets Services Ltd To Abuja”, and directed to Sirika, Iwuajoku explained that he did not know the said passengers were “a bunch of useless people”.
He said, “We hereby apologise for the above flight with your permit ref: FMA/ATMD/0175/V/V/1268 dated 11th June 2020.
“Please the flight was to carry a judge to Abuja on Sunday, 14th, June 2020 as requested and the 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 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 charter flight to Abuja, and that the passengers are already in the lounge. As a rule, passenger manifests are always sent to me before departure.
“When I went through the manifest and 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 he 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 would not happen again.”