Aviation Minister: Clearance papers of Amaechi’s aircraft forged

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stella_oduah2Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, on Thursday said the clearance of the grounded aircraft operated by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was allegedly forged.

Oduah said this in a statement signed by her Special Assistant (Media), Mr Joe Obi, in Abuja.

She said that there were three controversial issues surrounding the Bombardier Global Express 5000/Registration N565RS, allegedly owned by the Rivers Government.

“The issues of operating with falsified clearances dubiously collected in the name of Caverton Helicopters, a USA-based company and why the aircraft was operated after the clearances had expired.

“We want to state again that this particular aircraft is foreign-registered in the name of Bank of Utah Trustees, USA. This is the documentation available to the ministry.

“ Till date, neither the Rivers Government nor any other individual or corporate organisation has presented contrary documentation to debunk the fact that this aircraft is owned by the Bank of Utah Trustees.

“The onus is, therefore, on the Rivers Government to present documents showing that it is the rightful owner of the aircraft. Till date, we are yet to see any such documentation,’’ she said.

Oduah also said that the Vice Chairman of Caverton, Adeniyi Makanjuola, at the public hearing at the National Assembly on Wednesday, disclaimed all the clearances allegedly emanating from his office.

“If there is anyone who ought to protect a client as important as the Rivers Government in this matter, it should be Caverton. So, it was not, and can never be in the interest of Caverton to deny its client in public.

“If anyone is still in doubt as to how the clearances were illegally obtained in the name of Caverton, the pilot of the aircraft, Captain Tosin Odulaja, said they were collecting the clearances from the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of Caverton.

“Any layman will know that the Personal Assistant is not the right person to issue documents as important as clearances.

“Mr Makanjuola said clearly that Rivers Government secured the clearances from an unknown merchant for Caverton, this a very serious case of forgery and the ministry is exploring all options of redress,’’ Oduah said.

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