Executive Jets Services Limited, the airline suspended by the Federal government for flying musician Aziz Fashola, aka Naira Marley, to Abuja to attend a concert, has written a letter of apology to the government for what it described as “confusion.”
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika announced the suspension of the airline during a presidential task force briefing in Abuja on Monday.
“The person on this flight conducted the concert,” Sirika said. We approved the flight, of course, not for the musician. The flight was approved to transport the Honourable Judge Adefope Okogie from Lagos to Abuja and then back to Lagos for an official appointment.
“The operation is a clear violation of our approval, which we take very seriously. This seems to be becoming the norm. This is the second time. As such, Executive Jet Services is hereby suspended indefinitely and they will face the law.”
However, in a letter dated June 15, 2020, Chairman and chief Executive Sam Iwuajoku said that he gave permission for the flight, thinking that the passenger was works Minister Babatunde Fashola.
In a letter entitled “Re: flight on 13/06/2020 operated by Executive Jets Services Ltd to Abuja “and sent to Sirika, iwuajoku explained that He did not know that the passengers in question were”a bunch of useless people”.
He said: “we hereby apologize for the above flight with your permission ref: FMA/ATMD/0175/V/V/1268 dated June 11, 2020.
“Please, the flight was supposed to take the judge to Abuja on Sunday, June 14, 2020, as requested, and the permit was issued based on the application, but unfortunately, when I called the judge on Saturday morning to inform him that we had a permit, he said that he had already reached Abuja on another flight, that someone had given him a ride to Abuja.
“So, on Saturday morning, June 13, 2020, my staff called me that they had a Charter flight to Abuja and that the passengers were already in the waiting room. As a rule, passenger manifests are always sent to me before departure.
“When I looked at the Manifesto and saw Fashola Babatunde, I thought it was the Honourable Minister of labour going to Abuja with his people. So we decided to take the flight, since he is the current Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I didn’t know it was a bunch of useless people.
“We are very sorry for this mistake and promise that it will not happen again.”
In addition, in a phone interview on Tuesday morning, the airline owner revealed that he gave a discount thinking the beneficiary was the labor Minister.
“We have learned our lessons and will be more careful in the future, ” he said.