Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, the two pilots working with Caverton Helicopters, were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody for violating a movement
Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, the two pilots working with Caverton Helicopters, were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody for violating a movement restriction put in place by the Rivers State Government to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
According to SaharaReporters, a magistrate court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, handed down the ruling. The Presiding Chief Magistrate, D.D Ihua-Maduenyi, remanded the two pilots at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre until May 19, 2020 when their trial will commence.
The magistrate ruled that COVID-19 tests should be carried out on the two pilots to ascertain their status. The state’s legal team said the act of the two pilots was capable of putting the entire city in danger of contracting Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Caverton Helicopters has asked the federal government to prevail on the Rivers state government to release the two pilots. It explained that while the federal government banned flight operations, the aircraft was given permission from mthe ministry of aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to continue operations for the oil and gas sector for an initial period of three months effective April 1.
“At the start of the COVID -19 lockdown, we received a letter from our client stating that they have been given approval/ exemption to fly and continue operations. We (Caverton along with three other companies) also received approval from the Minister of Aviation to fly only essential services, mainly in the Oil and Gas industry,” the company said in a statement.
In the charge sheet, the pilots and some “others now at large”, were accused of conducting themselves in a “manner likely to cause a breach of peace by flying and discharging passengers from the Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters at the Air Force Base.”