Naira Marley’s flight:  Executive Jet apologises to FG, says ‘it was a case of Mistaken Identity’


Posted by Sade Williams


Executive Jet Services Limited on Tuesday, aplogised to the Federal government over controversies surrounding its flying of popular musician, Naira Marley from Lagos to Abuja.


The Federal Ministry of Aviation had yesterday, announced suspension of the airline for flying the musician to attend a concert in Abuja, saying the approval given to the airline was to fly a Judge and not a musician and that it flouted the guidelines of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 .


But the airline, according to investigation, approved the airlift of the popular musician, Naira Marley on mistaken identity.


The investigation followed the suspension of the company by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for flying the musician to Abuja against the airspace closure by government, which stipulated that only essential airlift services could be approved due to coronavirus pandemic.


“We learnt that the name Naira Marley was not in the manifest given to Executive Jet Services Limited; rather, the name, Fashola Babatunde, presumably the Minister of Works and Housing and nine others were shortlisted for the flight.


“In addition, it was the approval already secured for the airlift of Justice Adefope Okoji, who was already in Abuja that was used to fly Babatunde who later turned out to be Naira Marley and his entourage.


According to the passenger manifest dated, June 13, 2020 made available to us, the Lagos-Abuja-Lagos flight conveyed to Abuja, Adewunmi Segun, Chinonso Opara, Fashola Babatunde, Fashola Adeshina and Adeyeye Tobi.


Others were Michael Opeyemi,  Idowu Emmanuel, Seyi Awonuga, Wisdom Intoto and Abayomi Akin.


It was learnt that the Justice was contacted on Saturday for the Sunday flight and he said he was already in Abuja, the company was informed that there was another flight and it demanded for the manifest of the flight.


There was no indication from the names in the manifest that Naira Marley was part of the flight; it was assumed that the Minister of Works and Housing was actually the person that was travelling.


The company has since apologised to the Minister of Aviation, Sirika.


In a letter of apology to the Minister, signed by the Chairman/CEO of the company, Dr Sam Iwuajoku, Executive Jet Services explained, “So on Saturday morning, 13th June, 2020 my staff called and told me that they have a charter flight to Abuja and that the passengers were already at 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 Hon. Minister of Works going to Abuja with his men, so we decided to do the flight, since he is serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”








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