Executive Jet Services Limited has explained why it operated the sanctioned flight that flew popular musician, Azeez Fashola also known as Naira Marley from Lagos to Abuja.
The airline said it operated the flight because it thought the name on the manifest was for the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola and his men.
The explanation came after Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced the suspension of the operation of the airline indefinitely.
The Federal Government gave approval to the airline to fly Hon. Justice Adefope Okojie from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos for an official assignment.
The airline, in a letter by its chairman, Dr. Sam Iwuajoku and addressed to the Minister on June 15, apologized for its action.
The letter was titled: “Re: Flight for 13/06/2020 done by Executive Jets Services Ltd. to Abuja.”
It reads in part: “We hereby apologise for the above flight with your permit ref: FMA/ATMD/0175/ V/V/ 1268 dated 11th June, 2020.
“Please the flight was to carry a Judge to Abuja on Sunday 14th, 2020 as requested and the 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.”
The letter continues: “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 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.”
The airline also attached a passenger manifest for the flight. The names on the manifest are; Adewunmi Segun, Fashola Adeshina, Chinonso Opara, Fashola Babatunde, Adeyeye Tobi, Micheal Opeyemi, Idowu Emmanuel, Seyi Awonuga, Wisdom Intoto, and Abayomi Akin.
The crew members are: Captain Adebiyi, First Officer; Sarin and Cabin Assistant; Ramat.