- A private chopper belonging to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has been suspended from flying by the Federal Government (FG).
- It was gathered that the AgustaWestland AW139 chopper with registration number 5N-EAA was suspended from flying over the expiration of some of its papers and spare parts.
A private chopper belonging to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has been suspended from flying by the Federal Government (FG).
The aircraft was said to have been suspended by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over two weeks ago.
It was gathered that the AgustaWestland AW139 chopper with registration number 5N-EAA was suspended from flying over the expiration of some of its papers and spare parts.
According to Punch, the suspension, officials said, would also allow the regulator to conduct vital safety checks on its safety-critical components, especially some spare parts due for replacement.
Adeboye had, last Saturday during a special meeting with all ordained ministers of the mission at the RCCG, Region 21, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, called for drastic action against corrupt practices in all facets of Nigeria.
The RCCG leader, who flew a chopper to the venue, said he arrived late for the meeting because someone had requested a bribe from him to fly his helicopter.
He said he had decided to embark on the trip via his chopper to avoid a possible gridlock on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The 79-year-old mathematician-turned-preacher said, “I don’t give excuses because I have discovered long ago that only failures give excuses. But you must pray for Nigeria.
“Something must be done about corruption in this nation. All I can say is that I am this late because somebody wanted a bribe. And you know if you are expecting a bribe from me, you have to wait forever.
“But the devil has failed. And the devil will continue to fail. I decided to come by helicopter so that there won’t be a traffic jam that would tie me down on the expressway because I know what the devil could do.
“Then, I ran into something else. But by the grace of God, we are here.”
Although it could not ascertain who requested the alleged bribe from the revered servant of God, investigations by the paper revealed that the cleric’s chopper was suspended from flying by the regulatory authority over safety issues.
Multiple aviation sources confirmed that Adeboye could not fly his chopper with registration number 5N-EAA to the Ibadan programme but had to fly another aircraft reportedly belonging to Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel).
The official, who chose to speak on condition of anonymity, said a letter from Italy-based Leonardo, the manufacturer of Adeboye’s AW 139 helicopter, requesting the NCAA to grant a time extension on some spare parts that are due for replacement came late.
The spare parts due for replacement have been ordered from the manufacturer but they have yet to be shipped into Nigeria because they are usually produced on demand, according to Omni-Blu Aviation.
However, findings revealed that the NCAA had directed maintenance and safety checks to be conducted on the aircraft.
As such, the operator has secured a date for this at Aero’s maintenance hangar.
When contacted for comments, the Director-General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, confirmed that the regulatory agency had suspended flights on the aircraft for safety reasons.
According to him, the NCAA does not often deal directly with individuals or owners of aircraft but the operator.
In this case, he said the NCAA only had business with the operator of the aircraft, Omni-Blu Aviation.
Nuhu said, “There are safety-related issues that must be resolved before the aircraft will be approved for resumption of flights. Safety is the paramount consideration in all approvals given by the NCAA. No matter what, we must not sacrifice safety for flights; that is the whole idea.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for RCCG, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, said the matter was already resolved.
He said the church would not want to take issue with the aviation authorities on the bribery allegation.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE