We Mistook Naira Marley for Fashola—Executive Jets

Executive Jets

By Dipo Olowookere

The Chairman/CEO of Executive Jets Services Limited, Mr Sam Iwuajoku, has apologised to the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, for violating the lockdown rule and operating a commercial flight.

One of the jets of the company was used to convey popular pop artiste, Mr Azeez Fashola, otherwise known as Naira Marley, to a concert held in Abuja on Sunday.

A video of the event held at the Jabi Lake Mall was posted on the internet and it generated reactions because government was yet to lift the ban on concerts in the country.

Concerts and event centres were shut down across the country as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease.

On Monday, the Minister, while addressing newsmen, announced revoking the operating licence of Executive Jets and sanctioning of the pilot who flew the small plane.

In a letter dated Monday, June 15, 2020, the CEO of the company, claimed his company airlifted the musician to Abuja from Lagos for the event because they thought he was the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who governed Lagos State from 2007 to 2011.

Mr Iwuajoku, who described Naira Marley and his crew on the controversial flight as “a bunch of useless people,” assured the Minister such unfortunate incident will never occur again.

He said though the aircraft was initially billed to convey a judge to Abuja, when the judge was called a day earlier of the flight, he said someone else had taken him to Abuja.

“We hereby apologize for the above flight, with your permit ref: FMA/ATMD/0175/V/V/1268 dated June 11, 2020.

“Please the flight was to carry a judge to Abuja on Sunday, June 14, 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 he has reached Abuja already with a different flight that someone gave him a lift to Abuja.

“So, on Saturday morning June 13, 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 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 would not happen again.

“Kindly see attached passenger manifest for the flight.

“Thank you for your understanding,” the letter said.

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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