Caverton Helicopters Limited, a subsidiary of Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, said it never intentionally violated the lockdown order in Rivers, contrary to initial reports. The company’s offices in Rivers State were “forcefully” shut down earlier this month after it was accused of violating a directive by Governor Nyesome Wike.
Here’s what happened: About one week after President Muhammadu Buhari issued lockdown orders for some parts of the country, two pilots working for Caverton Helicopters flew into Port Harcourt from an offshore mission. The pilots were subsequently arrested by the Rivers State Government, even as the company’s offices were put under locks and keys.
The Rivers State Government’s action was based on the fact that Caverton Helicopters violated an initial executive order by Governor Nyesome Wike, which had prohibited the entry of vehicles and flights into the state starting from the 19th of March, 2020.
The current situation: A statement that was signed by the Company Secretary, Amaka Obiora, as seen on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, has now clarified that Caverton Helicopters never intended to violate the directive.
“Caverton never acted to undermine or override the River breach the State’s COVID-19 containment nor breach the state’s Covid-19 containment orders, it relied on the approval granted by the Ministry of Aviation through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to provide logistics for and Gas industries,” the statement said.
In the meantime, the company’s offices in Rivers State remain shut, even though the pilots have been freed on bail. Caverton Helicopters said it is now negotiating with authorities in Rivers State towards a possible re-opening of the facilities.
#EndSARS: Access Bank debunks aiding military onslaught against Lekki protesters
Access Bank has dismissed rumours on social media suggesting it aided military onslaught against protesters.
Access Bank Nigeria Plc has vehemently debunked rumour making the rounds that it aided the military onslaught against peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki, by allowing military snippers access its head office tower for operations.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported on how soldiers allegedly fired gunshots to disperse #EndSARS protesters in Lekki yesterday.
In view of this development, there have been public outcries and ensuing allegations, one of which is that Access Bank Nigeria Plc aided the military onslaught.
What they are saying
In response to the allegations, the bank first reacted to the development by expressing condolence. A verified tweet by the bank read thus: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate loss of innocent lives yesterday at the Lekki Toll. We pray that the souls of the innocent rest in peace”.
In addition, the bank stated: “We wish to address the statement by Arise TV alleging that Military Snipers were allowed access to our Head Office Tower for operations at the Lekki Toll Gate area. This is absolutely untrue. The video shared on Arise TV featured an employee of the bank conducting routine maintenance at the Tower location. It is unfortunate that this was reported as a sniper without any proof. As a corporate citizen with the purpose of impacting lives positively, we will never endanger the lives of Nigerians.”
Just in: UK High Commission shuts down visa centres in Nigeria due to #EndSARS protests
The UK High Commission in Nigeria has announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria for the next 48 hours, with effect from today (Wednesday), due to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country.
This comes barely a day after the US shut down its Lagos consulate, following the outbreak of violence from the #EndSARS protests in major parts of the country including Lagos State and the FCT.
The disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the UK High Commission in Nigeria on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The High Commission in a brief statement, also asked applicants with appointments for Wednesday and Thursday, to reschedule their appointments from Monday, October 26th.
“Due to the ongoing protest in Nigeria and for the safety of both staff and applicants, our Nigeria centres will be closed for 48 hours at a minimum. For applicants with booked appointments within this period, please you will need to reschedule your appointment for next week, from 26th October 2020.
“We will continue to post regular updates on this page, so please keep checking back for the latest information on reopening. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”
Update on UK Visa Application Centres:
Our TLS contact Visa Application Centres in Nigeria are currently closed.
For further updates on the closures please visit:
Victoria Island: https://t.co/B17AtE4kqv
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) October 21, 2020
#EndSARS: Archbishop of Canterbury condemns Lekki shootings
The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined his voice to the condemnation of the shooting of protesters in Lagos.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby says he condemns the shooting of unarmed protesters in Lekki and urges President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that lives are protected.
The Archbishop, who is the Chief of the Anglican Church globally disclosed this on Wednesday morning, as the International Community reacted to videos of protesters getting shot at the Lekki tollgate.
I have urged President @MBuhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.
I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) October 21, 2020
Recall Nairametrics reported that several social media accounts revealed peaceful protesters were being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll gate holdout for the #EndSars protest.
The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
The Archbishop earlier said in his statement, “I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.
“I have urged President Muhammadu Buhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.
“I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria.