There is controversy surrounding the taking off of NG Eagle, an airline reportedly set up by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), SaharaReporters has gathered.
The airline had wet leased two Airbus aircrafts to start commercial operations on December 1, 2023.
This is however against the Nigerian aviation regulations which states that a commercial airline cannot start up with wet leased aircrafts but with Nigerian registered (5N) aircraft.
NG Eagle (RC Number 1600277) was a project by the state-owned Asset Management Corporation-led by Alhaji Ahmed Kuru by which it aimed to transfer to it the assets of Arik Air . AMCON had eight years ago taken over Arik airline.
On the Corporate Affairs Commission’s records, NG Eagle was incorporated on 11th July 2019 with AMCON’s employee, Kamilu Omokide (Arik Receiver Manager) as Shareholder/Director and AMCON as second shareholder with other AMCON employees as Directors.
“This is a breach of fiduciary duties to Arik by Kamilu Omokide and AMCON. Alhaji Kuru also deliberately omitted to state in the reference interview that the registration, establishment, and expenses for the NG Eagle AOC was funded from Arik sales proceeds,” Arik stakeholders had said.
“The buyer of the NG Eagle, who Mr Kuru camouflaged as investor, is Alhaji Abdul Ahmad, an acquaintance of Alhaji Kuru and bureau de change operator, selling foreign exchange to Arik in Receivership.
“This is a clear breach of public assets disposal process. NG Eagle was sold on 20th February 2023, after a date had been reserved for judgment in the matter of Arik Shareholders Vs Kamilu Omokide, AMCON, NG Eagle & Ors at the Federal High Court Lagos. Alhaji Kuru also recently misled the former Acting CBN Governor to grant a waiver for the lease and use of the Arik aircraft by the same NG Eagle without informing the former Acting Governor of CBN of a subsisting order of the court.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos recently ruled that the set-up of NG Eagle and transfer of assets of Arik Air to the said airline was illegal, null, and void.
The court also ordered AMCON, and its Receiver Manager to file audited accounts of Arik Air from 9 February 2017 with the Corporate Affairs Commission within 14 days of its judgement on 31 March 2023.
However, multiple sources said that Karu-led AMCON disobeyed the court order and illegally transferred assets of Arik Air to the said NG Eagle.
On the operation of the new airline against the standard aviation regulations in the country, an aviation expert said, “I want to urgently bring to your attention that, despite the order of the Federal High Court of 31 March 2023, Mr Ahmed Kuru led AMCON has continued to contemptuously use Alhaji Abdul Ahmad, who Mr Kuru claimed bought NG Eagle from AMCON, to take away Arik Air assets to start a new airline, NG Eagle with the assets of Arik Air.
“To this end, Alhaji Abdul had wet leased an Airbus aircraft which has arrived Abuja airport yesterday, and he is waiting for another aircraft. He, Abdul knows that Nigerian regulations do not allow such airline operations start up with wet leased aircraft, the regulations is clear that airline operations can only be started with Nigerian registered(5N) aircraft.
“Abdul has therefore arranged, and he is desperately working with Kamilu Omokide ( the receiver manager appointed without leave of court), Capt. Roy Ilegbodu – (Arik Receivership CEO) and Ors to take one of the Arik Nigerian registered aircrafts (which the courts had ordered not to be so used) to start operations for the NG Eagle on December 1, 2023.
“He has equally systematically conspired to second Arik staff to NG Eagle in addition to illegally contrary to regulations using the Arik air facility, the only senior management staff that cautioned Captain Roy about the impropriety of this action, Mr Hamza Bukar was expressly sacked by Roy and Alhaji Abdul.
“Unfortunately, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is deliberately looking the other way. Because all these actions for an airline start up is contrary to regulations and law.. The implications of all these shenanigans will have far reaching consequence on safety for aviation and integrity for Nigeria in the international civil aviation arena.
“This action is an assault on the state by officials of government. These people will not stop at anything to disparage the courts. They carried on with so much impunity. As we talking, they are currently at the Arik hangar in Lagos removing and swapping aircraft engines.
“To these people, even EFCC amounts to nothing, after all they brazenly disobeyed the courts by all their actions thus far and nothing happened.”
Attempts to get the reaction of the AMCON were unsuccessful as of press time as several calls made to AMCON spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor were not answered.
Also, text messages sent to his phone number were not replied to as of the time of filing this report.