Babatunde Raji Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, has said he had not made any non-compliant flight out of Abuja since March 22.
Fashola made the comments on Tuesday while distancing himself from a letter written by Sam Iwuajoku, Chief Executive Officer of Executive Jets Services Limited, explaining circumstances surrounding a controversial flight, which conveyed musician, Naira Marley, to Abuja from Lagos for a concert in violation of COVID-19 guidelines.
Iwuajoku had said he approved the chartered flight after he saw Fashola’s name on the manifest.
His company is now suspended indefinitely by the Nigerian Government as a result of the incident.
Hakeem Bello, Fashola’s Special Adviser on Communications, in a statement said, “The attention of the Office of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has been drawn to a letter signed by the Chairman/CEO of Executive Jets Services Limited, Dr Sam Iwuajoku, concerning a flight it operated to Abuja last weekend.
“For purposes of clarity and in order to set the records straight, the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has not travelled out of Abuja since March 22, 2020, when he returned there after an inspection tour of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway construction work and a visit to Lagos before the lockdown.
“The decision of the minister not to travel was taken in strict compliance with the Federal Government’s ban on inter-state travels as part of efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is therefore ridiculous for Dr Iwuajoku to attempt to link the Hon. Minister with any non-compliant flight.”