The Minister for Works and Housing, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Babatunde Raji Fashola, has warned the management of the embattled Executive Jets Services Limited, and its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sam Iwuajoku to desist from involving his name in their case of misbehaviour and disobedience of rules and regulations of the Aviation Ministry and the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Minister said that he has not been outside of the FCT since March this year when he went to the southern part of the country to inspect the progress of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, and a visit to Lagos prior to the lockdown.
Dr Iwuajoku as reported by Switch Nigeria, had explained that he thought that the person being taken to Abuja, was Babatunde Fashola. “Please, the flight was to carry a Judge to Abuja on Sunday June 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 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 Honorable 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 will not happen again,”
However, yesterday, the Minister, through his Special Adviser on Communication, Hakeem Bello, released the following press statement.
The attention of the Office of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has been drawn to a letter signed by the Chairman/CEO of Executive Jets Services Limited, Dr Sam Iwuajoku concerning a flight it operated to Abuja last weekend.
For purposes of clarity and in order to set the records straight, the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has not travelled out of Abuja since March 22, 2020, when he returned there after an inspection tour of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway construction work and a visit to Lagos, before the lockdown.
The decision of the Hon. Minister not to travel was taken in strict compliance with the Federal Government’s ban on inter-state travels as part of efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is therefore ridiculous for Dr Iwuajoku to attempt to link the Hon. Minister with any noncompliant flight.
More revelations are expected as according to the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, this appears to have been a common practice among some airlines and operators. The person in the centre of this all, popularly known as Naira Marley, has been in the news for some time now for the wrong reasons. The questions have begun to arise whether he or members of his entourage, were involved in impersonation or name dropping, to have successfully hoodwinked the management and staff of Executive Jet Services Limited.