Family members of some of Nigeria’s richest political and business leaders allegedly embarked on foreign trips aboard private jets in spite of a Federal Government ban to curb the spread of COVID-19, a report has claimed.
The report published on Wednesday by popular online news medium, Sahara Reporters identified some of the affected families as those of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; oil tycoon, Folorunsho Alakija; billionaire, Hakeem Belo-Osagie; CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele; late Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, among others.
Recall that the Federal Government shut the nation’s airports against international flights on March 23, 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Announcing the ban on international flights, Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu noted that only “emergency and essential flights” would be permitted during the period.
However, Tinubu’s son, Seyi allegedly travelled from Lagos to Stansted Airport, London, United Kingdom aboard his father’s private jet – a Bombardier Express 7000 with registration number VP-CBT – on June 7, 2020.
According to the report, two children of oil magnate, Folorunsho Alakija – Folarin and Rotimi – were onboard a private jet with registration number VP-CFO from Lagos to Luton Airport, London, on May 22, 2020.
Six children of Akhighe were said to have travelled abroad a private jet with registration number 5N-KAS from the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos to Stansted Airport, London on May 8, 2020.
The children were identified as Okhai-Akhigbe Esiomekhai, Okhai-Akhigbe Uwekhai Eleose, Okhai-Akhigbe Iretekhai, Akhigbe Ogionwo and Akhigbe Aikenosi.
Similarly, Vice President, West and Central Africa of MTN, Karl Olutokun Toriola, was said to have boarded a private jet with registration number FLJ611 from Spain to Nigeria. He allegedly travelled with four other persons, including Lagos lawyer, Aisha Rimi.
In the same vein, Yasmin Belo-Osagie, the daughter of Hakeem Belo-Osagie, a former chairman of the board of directors of United Bank for Africa (UBA), allegedly traveled aboard a private jet with registration number D-CAWX, which flew from London to Nigeria on May 8, 2020.
She was said to be the only passenger on the trip, which was estimated to cost $100,000 (approximately – N38.7 million).
The online medium further reported that Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele flew his wife and children to London on a Global Express Bombardier 550 luxury jet with registration number N104DA belonging to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.