Pandemonium broke out Thursday as residents of Igando, Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Lagos over report of a plane crash in the area, even as the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has dismissed the report describing it as a hoax.
When Vanguard visited the scene, at Dapsey Oil, sited along Lasu-Isheri road, it was discovered that the said plane did not crash but was abandoned at the fuel station by some unidentified persons.
The private jet N972TF with ‘Gabriel Oduyemi World Outreach,’ inscribed on it caused panic among residents who wondered how the said jet got into a residential area.
Vanguard also gathered that the said plane was owned by the late President of Bethel Ministries Inc., Pastor Gabriel Oduyemi.
Residents and owners of the filling station were divided over what could have warranted the sudden appearance of the plane. While the owners of the filing station claimed to have no clue on how the aircraft got there, residents however said that the plane was towed into the filling station at about 3:00am, Thursday.
According to an eyewitness, Kenneth Onyebule, “immediately I heard the information coupled with the memories of the last plane, I mean the Dana plane Crash, I ran out of my house to search for the site of the crash so that I can give a helping hand.”
In her account, Miss. Zainab Tunji, said “I woke up at about 2:45 am. While sitting at the balcony of our house, I saw a huge structure moved on the road. And this awakens my curiosity and as I look further I saw them parking it at the entrance of the filing station.”
Alleged plane crash, a hoax – NAMA
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has dismissed the report of a plane crash in Lagos describing it as a hoax .
In a statement by the Managing Director of the agency, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh said, ” the attention of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has been drawn to a purported plane crash yesterday at Igando, a suburb in Lagos State.”
‘’ This morning, we were inundated with phone calls and enquiries over a crash involving a small aircraft but there is nothing like that ,it is a hoax because our system did not capture any missing plane’’,the managing director of the agency, Engr. Mazi Nnamdi Udoh affirmed in Lagos on Thursday while dispelling the rumour.
NAMA boss said in a statement that the aircraft in question is actually a junk one belonging to Late Apostle Gabriel Oduyemi of Bethel Ministries and had long been parked at a NAMA facility up till Wednesday night when it was eventually removed.
“The aircraft was actually released to Captain M.J.Ekehinde who will be using it for educational purposes in Badagry, Lagos. A cross section of the wings was removed to ease transportation to its new location.
“I affirm again that NAMA facilities are working at optimal level and this could have assisted in detecting any missing plane within the nation’s airspace. While we appreciate the concern of the public on sighting the plane at an unusual site, we urge that people should always contact police and local government officials for proper information before spreading the news on incident involving any aircraft.”
It will be recalled that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, had earlier issued a week ultimatum to owners of abandoned airplanes in all airports in the country to evacuate them immediately, saying it constituted security threat to the country.