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Adeleke: Aircraft’s Engines in Averted Crash May Have Been Tampered With

This is contrary to the claim by the hanger owner that birds’ nests caused the incident.

Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on Sunday confirmed a reported aircraft incident, in which he was personally involved, claiming strong indications that the two aircraft engines might have been tampered with before boarding and take-off, which was eventually aborted.

But the Minister of Aviation and Aerodrome Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has assured the governor and the general public that the report of an investigation into the incident as well as its recommendations, would be implemented.

Reacting to reports on the incident, which had been kept away from the media, spokesperson to the governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, said the highly technically equipped aircraft was well-maintained with the best technical crew and was never an unused platform where birds could build nests.

Contrary to the claim by the hanger owner that birds’ nests caused the incident, he noted that birds’ nests were made with straws not bidding wires as in this case.

According to him, the near fatal incident was averted shortly after boarding and less than two minutes after commencement of taxing on the tarmac.

“An early warning noise from the engines immediately prompted the pilots to direct evacuation of the passengers. Everything happened within five minutes.

“Early reports from internal investigation indicated sabotage. But the authorities, locally and internationally, were still investigating the incident.

“We, however, want to assure the public that Governor Adeleke and his aides are safe and there was no injury or any outward explosion on the plane,” he said.

The governor expressed his deep appreciation to well-wishers and supporters, who had been calling since the report of the incident, adding that, “Mr Governor is hale and hearty.”

However, once alerted, the minister contacted the Director General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and was briefed accordingly.

To this end, a mandatory report was submitted on September 6, 2023, in accordance with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS).

The operator submitted the report through the new web based National Aviation Safety Reporting System, SMS Pro, deployed by NCAA in collaboration with Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) in compliance with the provisions of ICAO mandated State Safety Programme and the Civil Aviation Act 2022, noting that a full-blown investigation has commenced.

Expressing relief that the incident ended without any harm, the minister in a statement by Director General of Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu, assured the people that the outcome of NCAA’s investigation and recommendations would be implemented in line with Nig. CARS and global best practices.

The NCAA, therefore, assured the traveling public that it would double its efforts in collaboration with NSIB to maintain and improve upon the high safety aviation standards set in the country over the past decade.

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

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