Date: 4th November, 2018
RE: ‘ILLEGAL HELICOPTER CHARTER FLIGHTS’ SPARK ROW IN AVIATION SECTOR
· The helicopters on the fleet of the Nigeria Police Force’s Air-wing don’t run commercial or chartered shuttle services as claimed by the writer of the story
· The Force’s Police Air-wing did not carry out any chartered shuttle for a paltry $30,000.00 and is not aware of the cost of charter for which commercial operators charge $105,000.00
The attention of the Nigeria Police has been drawn to a story in The Nation Newspaper of today, Sunday, 4th November, 2018 captioned “Illegal Helicopter Charter Flights Spark Row in Aviation Sector” credited to one Kelvin Osa Okunbor.
2. The Force wishes to categorically state that the helicopters on the fleet of the Nigeria Police Force Air-wing don’t run commercial or chartered shuttle services as claimed by the writer of the story. Police helicopters are deployed on regular basis for operational purposes and to aid other security and safety agencies in their operations and other activities in line with inter-agency cooperation and collaboration. There was no time the Police helicopters were deployed for hire and reward or for charter.
3. To educate the writer and set the record straight, only one (1) Police Bell helicopter 412 was deployed to Gombe, Gombe State on the 29th October, 2018 to fly the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Training and Development representing the Inspector General of Police at the ground breaking and foundation laying ceremony of Nigeria Army University at Biu, Borno State. The Police Bell helicopter 412 flew the DIG, Department of Training and Development and some Senior Military Officers from Gombe, Gombe State to Biu, Borno State and back on 30th October, 2018 without any payment from the Military or any other party.
4. The Police Bell 412 helicopter flights on the date of the occasion was purely for the Inspector General of Police to be represented at the event while the IGP was attending a State function in Kaduna, Kaduna State. Other Military Officers flown to and back from the event was purely on inter-agency collaboration and cooperation.
5. It is imperative to correct the wrong impression that must have been created by the misleading report and the misinformation in the minds of the public most especially those who must have read the story, that the Force’s Police Air-wing did not carry out any chartered shuttle for a paltry $30,000.00 and is not aware of the cost of charter for which commercial operators charge $105,000.00. This is mischievous and a figment of the imagination of the writer. The writer should be bold to tell the public whose account the alleged paltry $30,000.00 was paid into or who receives the money and on whose behalf.
6. It is equally on record that so many joint operations between the Police, the Military and other security and safety agencies involving the Police Air-wing have been ongoing in the interest of National Security.
7. Consequently, the Force sees the report as a deliberate and desperate act to cause misunderstanding and distortion of the intention of the Force to continue to assist other security and safety agencies in carrying out statutory duties and other National assignments. The Force also did not deploy the Police Air-wing helicopters for illegal charters between Kaduna to Abuja last year during the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport renovation as claimed by the writer in the report, this is not correct, it is mischievous and condemnable.
8. The Force is not under any investigation by the NCAA and the Police Air-wing will continue to abide by all regulations under the purview of the regulatory body.
9. Members of the Public are hereby implored to disregard and discountenance the report in its entirety as incorrect, mischievous and misinformation.
10. The Police and the media will continue to be veritable partners in ensuring aviation safety and security, however, the media are implored not to allow the pages of their very esteemed newspapers to be used to publish or sponsor falsehood by mischievous individual(s).
Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER