The Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Damascus Ozouani, on Thursday explained that a private jet with registration number N972TF at Dapsey Filling Station, Igando, did not crash land.
Ozouani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the disused jet was being towed from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, to Badagry when one of its tyres burst.
NAN correspondent at the filling station observed that the jet which can accommodate about eight passengers, has the inscription “Gabriel Oduyemi World Crusades” on its tail board.
The filling station had become a Mecca of sort to passers-by the time NAN visited the area.
Ozouani said at about 12:45 a.m., the command got a directive to escort the jet from MMA Ikeja to Badagry (by road).
“The operation was led by one Capt. Matthew Ekehinde, but in the process of the journey, one of the jet’s tyres burst at College Bus Stop and the jet could not move.
“It was parked at Dapsey Filling Station along Igando for repairs .We have provided security for the plane until it is moved to Badagry,” he said.
Ozouani said that the movement of the jet to Badagry from Ikeja was in response to the Federal Government’s directives that plane owners should remove non-operational aircraft from the nation’s airsides and tarmacs because they constitute security and safety risks.
NAN observed that the right flank tyre of the jet had already burst while the two front ones and the left flank tyres have begun to deflate.
Also, some parts of the right and left wings of the jet had been cut with saws to reduce its with in conformity with what could be towed on a motorway.
Also speaking, Mr Supo Atobatele, General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), confirmed that that there was no record of any plane mishap.
“It must have been one of those junks being removed from the MMA airside, following a directive from the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
“There is no record of any missing plane in the airspace from our Total Radar Control of Nigeria (TRACON) facilities,” Atobatele said on phone.
Also, Mr Tunji Oketunmbi, the spokesman of the Accident investigation Bureau (AIB), debunked claims of any air crash when contacted on phone.
Meanwhile, the petrol station manager, who refused to disclose his name, said: “We came in here this morning to resume work only to meet the private jet here.”
He lamented that the incident had caused the station a drop in patronage as motorists could not drive into the station to buy fuel.
Also, Mr Olugbenga Adeoye , a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), who led policemen to the scene, said that he was not authorised to speak to the press.
“Yes, I am on ground here to lead other policemen to control crowd and traffic movements and not to speak to the press,” Adeoye said.