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The Federal Government has declared as illegal the decision of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for ordering the arrest two pilots in the oil-rich state of Rivers.
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika made the position of the government known while speaking on the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force Wednesday, April 8, 2020
“The airline had the approval of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),” Sirika stated while reacting to a question from a journalist.
“Aviation is under the exclusive list which empowers the Federal Government to legislate on,” the Aviation said describing the action of the policemen and other security operatives that arrested the pilots as running afoul of the federal law.
Sirika maintained that the pilots flying into the Rivers “because they got the approval of the aviation authority, but Wike maintained that the pilots would be prosecuted.
Wike promised to testify against them in court
Recall that the Wike led a team of security operatives that arrested the pilots on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, stating that the run afoul of Executive Order issued by the state government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
They immediately remanded in prison by a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court while the Wike promised to testify against them.
The controversial governor accused the pilots of illegally transported expatriates to his state.
Were they illegitimate flights?
Report from the Flight Crew Association of Nigeria stated that the pilots were operating essential oil and gas services which got the approval of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Political analysts say, the whole scene might be politicised. Wike is a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while the centre is controlled by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).