An airline, Executive Jets Services Limited, suspended by the Federal Government for flying Musician, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, to Abuja to attend a concert, has written a letter of apology to the Federal Government over what it described as a “mix-up.”
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced the suspension penalty during the Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja on Monday.
“The person on that flight conducted a concert. We approved a flight, certainly not for a musician. The flight was approved to convey Honourable Justice Adefope Okogie from Lagos to Abuja and then back to Lagos for an official assignment.
“The operation is a clear violation of our approval which we take very seriously. It seems this is becoming a norm. This is the second time. So, Executive Jet Services is hereby suspended indefinitely and they will face the law.”
However, in a letter dated June 15, 2020, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sam Iwuajoku, said his team later got an offer to convey another set of passengers to Abuja but added that he was confused when he saw the name Fashola Babatunde.
Naira Marley’s real name is Azeez Fashola, but a particular name on the flight’s manifest was Fashola Babatunde, and it was No.6 on the list while there was also Fashola Adeshina on the list as No.3.
The company’s chairman said he thought it was the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola not knowing that “it was a bunch of useless people”.
“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, June 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 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. As a rule, passenger manifests are always sent to me before departure. When I went through the manifest and saw FASHOLA BABATUNDE, I thought it was the Honourable Minister of Works going to Abuja with his men. So, we decided to do the flight since he 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.”