Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Enugu State Government Seizes Aero Helicopter For Landing At Government House

Enugu State government yesterday seized a helicopter belonging to the Aero Contractors for landing at the Governor’s Lodge without approval. 

According to sources at the Lodge, the helicopter caused panic at the Government House as workers were said to have scampered for safety on sighting the helicopter. Security operatives attached to the Government House  cordoned off the area when the flight landed and arrested the operators.

Chief press secretary to Governor Sullivan Chime,  Chukwudi Achife, who  confirmed the 
development in a statement, explained that it took place at about 10.30am when workers were already in their offices.

“At about 10:30am today (yesterday),  a helicopter bearing the markings of Aero Contractors landed without permission at the Governor’s Lodge. The mission of the visitors was unknown to the government. After preliminary inquiries, the chief security officer  to the governor, Mr Fidelis Ogarebe, handed the three occupants of the aircraft -two pilots and one engineer – over to the State Police Command for further investigations”, he stated.

LEADERSHIP, however, gathered that the helicopter was actually meant to pick up the remains of former member of the old Anambra state House of Assembly, Late Sir Andrew Okonkwo Umeoji, whose valedictory session was taking place at the nearby State House of Assembly.
The House of Assembly is very close  to Enugu Governor’s Lodge and it is suspected that the helicopter landed in the Governor's Lodge in error.

Late Sir Andrew Okonkwo Umeoji's remains was to be flown in the helicopter to his hometown for burial in Anambra state. But had to be driven to Anambra state in a motorcade as an alternative arrangement since the 3 crew men were still in police custody.

Reacting to the development, the Public Relations Officer of the State House of Assembly, Jonas Ugwuanyi, said “ we actually prepared ground for the helicopter to land because the family had earlier intimated us that they will either bring the corpse by helicopter to the State House of Assembly or  use helicopter to convey the corpse to Anambra state. The remains eventually left by road when the session ended and there was no helicopter”

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