Detained pilots in Rivers’ll be released unconditionally — Minister

By AdvocateNews on 11/04/2020

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Sirika
Sirika

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the pilots of Caverton Helicopters who were arrested and detained by the Rivers State Government would soon be released.

Sirika said this while responding to a question on the subject during Friday’s briefing.

He said, “The pilots were carrying out national assignment because the speech by the SGF and the presidential address exempted oil and gas from the lockdown or shutdown in national interest.

“And these Caverton Helicopters’ pilots were flying into the military base on national assignment.

“Of course, I may not be learned but I am lettered and I understand, in this case, there is no conflict between the federal and state laws but I will not argue that on this platform. It is unnecessary.

“So, on whether the governor of Rivers State (Nyesom Wike) ought to know if the exempted Caverton flight would be landing in a military base in Port Harcourt belonging to the Nigerian Air Force, he did not need to know.

“That is answer number one. Answer number two, regarding the pilots, the pilots will soon be released, rescued and there will not be any conviction hanging on their necks.”

Sirika further said, “Arising from the constitutional provision and the powers of Mr President, the seriousness of this task force, the danger of COVID-19, the way we operate civil aviation and military aviation, that’s why I said the air force officer acted ignorantly to have called the governor when the chopper landed on his property.

“Also, the federal police who made the arrest within the premises of the military acted ignorantly as well. And I said they exhibited incompetence.

“This matter should not be over-flogged. The Federal Government is there for the 200 million people of Nigeria, regardless of whether you are from Rivers or Cross River, Kano or Kaduna.”

Posted 11/04/2020 07:29:26 AM

 

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