Executive Jet Services Limited in an apology letter to the minister of aviation, Hardi Sirika, said there was no indication that they would be flying the celebrity musician, Naira Marley, as the names on their passenger manifest did not indicate him as a passenger, stating that the approved airlift was a mistaken identity.
An investigation carried out following the company’s suspension yesterday by the Minister revealed that the name Naira Marley was not in the manifest given to Executive Jet Services Limited; rather, the name, Fashola Babatunde, presumably the Minister of Works and Housing and nine others were shortlisted for the flight.
The airline which has since apologized to Sirika in a letter signed by the Chairman/CEO of the company, Dr Sam Iwuajoku, Executive Jet Services explained he got a call from his staff Saturday morning, 13th June, 2020. That they have a charter flight to Abuja and that the passengers were already at the lounge.
“As a rule, passenger manifest is always sent to me before any departure. When I went through the manifest and I saw Fashola Babatunde, I thought it was the Hon. Minister of Works going to Abuja with his men, so we decided to do the flight, since he is A serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We are sorry for this mistake and we promise that it will not happen again.”
According to the passenger manifest released by the company on June 13, 2020. The Lagos-Abuja-Lagos flight conveyed to Abuja had Fashola Babatunde, Adewunmi Segun, Chinonso Opara, Fashola Adeshina and Adeyeye Tobi.
Also on the manifest were Michael Opeyemi, Idowu Emmanuel, Seyi Awonuga, Wisdom Intoto and Abayomi Akin.
The company also said that in addition, it was the approval already secured for the airlift of Justice Adefope Okoji, who was already in Abuja that was used to fly Babatunde who later turned out to be Naira Marley and his entourage.
The Justice was contacted on Saturday for the Sunday flight and he said he was already in Abuja; the company was informed that there was another flight and it demanded for the manifest of the flight.
There was no indication from the names in the manifest that Naira Marley was part of the flight; it was assumed that the Minister of Works and Housing was actually the person that was travelling.