UPDATED: Court Remands Two Caverton Helicopters’ Pilots

Carveton Helicopters Pilots

Two pilots of Carveton Helicopters were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody by a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court in Rivers State.

The two pilots, Mr Samuel Ugorji and Mr Samuel Buhari were ordered to remain at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre till May 19, 2020 when their trial will commence.

They were accused of intentionally disobeying the Executive Order issued by the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, aimed at checking the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Prosecution Counsel and Officer-in-charge, Legal of the Rivers State Police Command, Superintendent of Police Gladys Amadi, while arraigning the suspects today before Chief Magistrate D.D. Ihua-Maduenyi, argued that they were capable of putting the entire state in danger of contracting coronavirus.

She urged the court to remand them in prison custody to enable the police conclude its investigation, noting that allowing the accused persons roam the streets will endanger others in the state.

According to her, remanding the pilots will also stop them from further violating the Executive Order.

After hearing from the parties, the court granted the prayers of the prosecuting team and ordered COVID-19 tests to be carried out on the two pilots to ascertain their status.

Business Post gathered that the pilots were arrested by the Rivers State Police Command and were slammed with a four-court charge.

Count 1: That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now  at large as pilot and co-pilot of Twin-Otter,  Carveton Helicopters on the 7th day of April 2020 at the Air Force Base, Port Harcourt in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit misdemeanour to wit: disobedience to lawful order and thereby committed an offence under section 517A of the criminal code CAP 37, Vol 11 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

Count 2: That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did intentionally disobey the lawful order issued by the Governor of Rivers State as contained in paragraph 8 of the Executive Order RVSG -01 2020 made pursuant to Sections 2, 4, and 8 of Quarantine Act Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Regulation 11 of the Quarantine (Coronavirus COVID-19) and other infectious diseases) regulations, 2020 by flying the Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters into Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 5 of the Quarantine Act Cap Q2 LFN, 2004.

Count 3: That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by flying and discharging passengers from the Twin-Otter helicopter at the Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 249 (d) of the criminal code laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

Count 4: That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now  at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did intentionally disobey the lawful order issued by the Governor of Rivers State on restriction of movement and flights within the State contrary to paragraph 8 of the Executive Order RVSG -01 2020 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 203 of the criminal code laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

UPDATE:

The management of Caverton Helicopters has reacted to the issue and their response can be read HERE

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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