Nigerian Company Claims Ownership of Seized Private Jet Found With $10m In South Africa
A Nigerian company, Eagle Air has claimed ownership of the seized private jet stashed with about $10m allegedly used by two Nigerians and an Israeli national aboard the jet with the aim of buying arms for the Nigerian government.
The company in a statement on Tuesday claimed however denied complicity in the movement of the cash.
The management of the company said in a statement that the seized aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger 600, Registration No N808HG, had since the 2nd of August 2014 been leased to and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited.
They said any issues therefore have to be directed to the Management of Green Coast Produce Limited.
On its own part, Green Coast Produce Limited released a statement confirming that the aircraft was leased to it by Eagle Air.
Both claims however contradicts a report by SaharaReporters which linked the the seized private jet to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and close ally of president Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the report, The CAN leader’s private plane has the same N808HG being claimed by Eagle air as its registration number.
Green Coast Produce Limited, the company which Eagle Air claimed it leased the jet to said: “We have since that time been running and managing charter services with the aircraft in accordance and compliance with global best practices.
“On the 5th of September 2014 the aircraft was hired from us by a John Ishyaku. The charter to John Ishyaku was upon the following documented terms:
- a) Depart Abuja-Johanessburg on the 5th of September 2014
b) Return to Abuja on the 6th of September 2014
c) To wait and return with the passengers
“The said terms are normative within the industry.
“As with every other aircraft charter company, our knowledge of the cargo carried on the aircraft was in accordance with the information provided by ABC Limited. All cargo were accompanied by passenger who could readily defend the contents. We are not and can not be privy to any alleged extraneous cargo transported on the aircraft other than that declared in the agreed terms of hire.
“We are not liable and cannot be construed as a party to any alleged infractions, either in Nigeria or South Africa as he case may be, after the hire of the aircraft.
“We issue this statement without prejudice to any statutory or commissioned investigation being conducted or to be conducted in South Africa or Nigeria.”
The controversial leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, has however not refuted the claims of ownership of the said plane, as pundit believes the statement released by the new entities is a cover-up orchestrated by the Nigerian authorities
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