NCAA probes helicopter that picked up

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has disclosed it will be probing the helicopter that recently landed on the busy Lagos–Benin Expressway to pick up some so-called “prominent” passengers.

The helicopter was requested by some yet-to-be-confirmed individuals who were desperate to get out of the road traffic they were stuck in for hours.

Note that while initial report linked Edo-born billionaire, Julian Osula, to the incident, he has since dissociated himself from the development. Osula is the owner of Julian Luxury and a former banker at the now-defunct First City Merchant Bank and the Alpha Merchant Bank.

[READ ALSO: Meet Julian Osula, the billionaire who disrupted traffic with a helicopter]

In the meantime, some details have emerged about the company that pulled the string and made the unprecedented event happen. It was an unprecedented event because it is not all the time that helicopters land on highways/expressways. Whenever such an incident does occur, it is usually due to an emergency situation. Little wonder the unscheduled trip raised many eyebrows and ended up drawing the attention of the NCAA.

According to the NCAA, the company whose helicopter was used to airlift the passengers in the viral video is Tropical Arctic Logistics Ltd. The company was identified by its aircraft type -AW139 and registration number 5N – BVQ.

Helicopter that landed on the busy Lagos–Benin Expressway
helicopter that landed on the busy Lagos–Benin Expressway (Source: Naijaloaded)

About the Company: Tropical Arctic Logistics Limited was established in 2013 to provide Airborne Area Survey, transportation of Oil and Gas companies, Emergency Medical Services, and many other related services. Now, the company might as well add “airlifting traffic passengers” to its services.

Among the company’s leadership team is a prominent Nigerian, Henry Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), who is a former Minister of State for Petroleum and Minister for Foreign Affairs. He served under the administrations of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and that of Goodluck Jonathan; respectively.

Henry Odein Ajumogobia, Nigerian Ministers, Helicopter that landed on Lagos-Benin Expressway
Henry Odein Ajumogobia, Board of First Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Limited (Source: Guardian)

Ajumogobia serves as the chairman of Tropical Arctic Logistics Ltd. He is also the Chairman of the Board of First Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Limited, as well as a Senior Partner in the leading corporate/commercial law firm of Ajumogobia & Okeke.

Deal book 300 x 250

Another prominent Nigerian in the company’s board is Emperor Chris Baywood-Ibe. He serves as the CEO of Tropical Arctic Logistics.

NCAA investigation: The NCAA disclosed that it will investigate the circumstances surrounding the request. However, the aviation authority did not expatiate whether the passengers involved will also be investigated.

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According to the aviation authority, the helicopter was said to have been diverted for the unscheduled flight, compelling the pilot-in-charge to land between Benin and Ore. The NCAA also added that “as soon as the investigation is concluded, the outcome will be made public.”

Who gave the order? Pilots often get the all-clear to land from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).  This raises the question of whether NAMA approved the recent controversial landing. However, NAMA is yet to confirm if the pilot got clearance to land on the highway.

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