The Federal Government on Monday announced the suspension of the operation of Executive Jets Service indefinitely, following violation of the approval it was granted.
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika explained that the government gave approval for the flight that flew in the popular musician, Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, from Lagos to Abuja.
He, however, explained that the flight was meant to fly in Justice Adefope Okojie from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos and not the musician.
The musician featured and entertained fun-seekers at the Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja over the weekend.
The musician flew from Lagos to Abuja despite the ban on interstate movements and flights.
Speaking yesterday at the daily briefing by members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sirika said the flight was not meant to convey any musician, but the justice after considering the judiciary as an essential duty.
In addition, the minister also said the captain, who operated the flight would be sanctioned for misleading the control tower.
The minister also read some content of the approval letter it gave to the operator of the airline.
The minister said: “The brief today is for the unfortunate flight that was approved by Civil Aviation Authority to come into Abuja and the passengers of that flight conducted a concert.
“Well, we approved a flight but certainly not for any musician. The flight, from the application, was to convey Honourable Justice Adefope Okojie from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos for an official assignment.
“In this challenging time, in our wisdom, we considered the judiciary to be part of the essential service to be delivered. Having to move the Justice from Lagos to Abuja was in order. The approval was given for the 14th of June, 2020. However, we do give them a leeway of 24 hours sometimes due to operational reasons.
“They can operate the flight slightly earlier or slightly forward within 24 hours. In this case, the operators choose to fly on the 13th at about 6:00 pm. So, that itself is not a violation to operate earlier because we gave him the leeway.”
The minister added: “The operator is Executive Jets Services and the approval was very clear and I will read part of it. This is the letter from the ministry of Aviation to the Chairman of the Executive Jets Services and it was signed by the Director of Air Transport Management on my behalf.
The minister also read out the document that was given to the control tower as part of the evidence that the approval was not meant for the musician.
On the suspension of the jet services, Sirika said: “The operation is a clear violation of our approval to which we take very seriously and it seems this is becoming a norm. Perhaps, this is the second time. So, Executive Air Services operations are hereby suspended indefinitely. We will also fine them maximally according to the law.
“The captain of the flight will also be sanctioned for giving wrong information to the control tower and also appropriately in accordance with our law.”