The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has lifted the ban placed on the airline, Executive Air Services Limited, which flew popular Nigerian music, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley to Abuja for a concert.
The Federal Government had banned the airline for acting in contravention of the restriction on interstate movement and closure of airports due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Recall that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced the suspension of the airline, saying, “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.”
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Sam Iwuajoku, had stated that he approved the airline thinking the passenger was the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola not knowing they were “a bunch of useless people”.
Sirika while speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 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 a premium plan. So, we have lifted the ban today, so, they continue to do their business.”
“These sanctions are not punitive, they are things to make our industry work better and keep all of you safe.”
The minister also said the report of the Very Important Personalities being probed for flouting Covid-19 protocol at the country’s airports would be made public “hopefully this week”.