According to Sunday PUNCH investigations, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, has grounded a private chopper belonging to Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the Lagos Airport.
The aircraft, an AgustaWestland AW139 chopper with the registration number 5N-EAA, was suspended from flying two weeks ago due to the expiration of some of its papers and spare parts, according to reports.
Officials said the suspension would also allow the regulator to perform critical safety checks on its safety-critical components, especially some spare parts that were due for replacement.
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Adeboye had called for drastic action against corruption in all aspects of Nigeria during a special meeting with all ordained ministers of the mission at the RCCG, Region 21, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, last Saturday.
The RCCG leader, who arrived late for the meeting after being asked for a bribe to fly his chopper, said he was late because someone had asked for a bribe to fly his chopper.
He explained that he chose to travel by chopper to avoid a possible traffic jam on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“I don’t give excuses because I discovered long ago that only failures give excuses,” the 79-year-old mathematician-turned-preacher said. You must, however, pray for Nigeria.
“This country’s corruption needs to be addressed. I can only assume that I am late because someone demanded a bribe. And you know you’ll have to wait forever if you’re expecting a bribe from me. But the devil has lost. And the devil will continue to fail. I wanted to come by helicopter so that there won’t be a traffic jam that would tie me down on the expressway because I know what the devil might do.
“Then, I bumped into something else. But by the grace of God, we are here.”
While Ejes Gist could not determine who demanded the alleged bribe from the revered servant of God, investigations by the paper revealed that the cleric’s chopper was suspended from flying by the regulatory authority over safety issues.
Multiple aviation sources indicated that Adeboye could not fly his chopper with registration number 5N-EAA to the Ibadan programme but had to fly another aircraft reportedly belonging to Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church ( Winners Chapel ). ( Winners Chapel ).
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