Caverton Helicopters has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the arrest of its Pilots on Nyesom Wike’s orders.
The Herald earlier reported that two Pilots were arrested after they flew in expatriates into Rivers state, defying the lockdown order.
The Pilot and his Co-Pilot have been charged to court and will be remanded in custody till May 19 when the court will sit again.
However, Caverton Helicopters disclosed it had gotten approval from Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fly “essential services” and provide support to the Oil and Gas sector.
The statement from Helicopter service reads;
“At the start of the COVID -19 lockdown, we received a letter from our client stating that they have been given approval/ exemption to fly and continue operations. We (Caverton along with three other companies) also received approval from the Minister of Aviation to fly only essential services, mainly in the Oil and Gas industry,” the company said in a statement.
“Lastly, we got another approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fly for this same oil and gas sector. We have been flying along these guidelines for the past seven days.
“Today, we were informed that the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike was coming to address the operators in Port Harcourt and our people waited. But on arriving, the governor directed two of our pilots to be taken to CID where they were told to write statements.
“Despite all pleas by our lawyers who showed all the relevant documents, they were taken to the magistrate’s court and charged. At the court, our lawyers also presented all the documentations approving us to fly by the federal government but the case was closed and the pilots have been remanded in Port Harcourt prison till the 19th May.
“We appeal to the federal government to urge the Rivers State government to release our pilots who violated no law and are being unduly punished for reasons we still do not understand.
In the charge sheet, the pilots identified as Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, pilot and co-pilot respectively, and some “others now at large”, were accused of conducting themselves in a “manner likely to cause a breach of peace by flying and discharging passengers from the Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters at the Air Force Base”. The Cable reports