By Lawani Mikairu
Federal Government Monday lifted the ban placed on Executive Jet Services, the charter airline that flew musician, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, to Abuja to attend a concert mid-June thereby defying the ban on non essential flights due to COVID-19.
Disclosing the lifting of the ban during the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said, “Today (Monday), we lifted the ban on Executive Air Services Limited.
“They have complied substantially with all of our imposed sanctions; they’ve paid part of the fines, and they brought up premium plan. So, we have lifted the ban today, so, they continue to do their business”.
Recall that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while announcing the suspension of the airline then said: “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.”
While reacting to the suspension by the Minister, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Sam Iwuajoku, had said he gave the approval for the flight thinking the passenger was the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola not knowing they were “a bunch of useless people”.
However, the airline management later tendered a public apology for calling Naira Marley and his friends ” a bunch of useless people”. The management added that the airline holds it’s customers in high estem and will ” not publicly disparage them.”