By Emeka Mamah
The Rivers State government has accused the Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Odua of allegedly twisting facts over her claims that the government used forged documents in the documentation of its aircraft, saying that the whole thing was ‘’beginning to look like a witch-hunt.’’
State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari made this known in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday.
The statement entitled, ‘’Rivers State government response to Minister of Aviation,’’ read, ‘’the attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to allegations of forged documentation and impropriety by aviation officials as it concerns the Rivers State Government owned aircraft.
While the Rivers State Government will not want to join issues with the Minister of Aviation, we would like to make the following clarifications: No aircraft can fly into Nigerian airspace illegally and land at various airports within the country unchallenged. The Rivers State Government-owned aircraft has been in operation since October 2012
’’The allegation that the state government would use the name of Caverton Helicopters to obtain various clearances for seven months running is both preposterous and embarrassing. The claim that the aircraft insured is owned by ACASS CANADA LIMITED” of 6700 Cote de Liesse, Suite 206,Montreal, QC H4T 2B5, Canada is a deliberate distortion of facts. An insurance issued to ACASS was used for entry into service while flying between Canada and the USA for per-delivery tests. Rivers State Government took delivery on October, 5, 2012 and duly insured the aircraft and the certificate of insurance duly states this.
“Please note below:
The Rivers State Government has been flying this aircraft since October 2012 with this same certificate and with the knowledge of the Ministry of Aviation. We believe that all administrative procedure should and must be complied with.”
However the state government is worried at what is beginning to seem like a witch-hunt of it and related parties that have conducted business with it. We will continue to engage with aviation officials and follow through with all administrative requirements and processes as is most appropriate.’’