Panic-stricken Chime impounds Aero helicopter in Enugu Government House, arrests pilots, engineer

Posted by News Express | 30 April 2014 | 3,193 times

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Panic was the word yesterday as an helicopter which no one was expecting suddenly landed at the Enugu State Government House in Nigeria’s South East, causing a security breach and heightening tension at the Government House.

Chukwudi Achife, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sullivan Chime, said in a statement issued yesterday in Enugu: “At about 10.30 a.m. today, an helicopter bearing the branded mark of Aero Contractors landed without permission at the governor’s lodge. The mission of the visitors was unknown to the government.

“After preliminary inquiries, the Chief Security Officer to the governor, Mr Fidelis Ogarebe, handed the three occupants of the aircraft – two pilots and one engineer – over to the state police command for further investigations.”

The incident happened about one month after a pro-Biafran group, Biafra Zionist Federation, (BZF), attacked the Government House in a bid to hoist Biafran flags, thus sparking fears of another invasion.

A report by THISDAY, however, explained that the helicopter was on a harmless mission and landed at the Government House in error. It was said to be a chartered flight contracted to fly the corpse of the late Hon. Andy Umeoji from the nearby state House of Assembly complex to Anambra State for burial.

According to the paper, “The corpse of Umeoji was said to have arrived Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu from overseas via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and was taken via a motorcade to the Enugu State House of Assembly for a valedictory session before departing to Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State for burial via the chartered helicopter.

“But the helicopter erroneously landed at the Enugu governor’s lodge instead of the nearby House of Assembly complex and was impounded on the orders of the governor.”

The late Umeoji was a former member of the old Anambra State House of Assembly in 1983 and expectedly given a valedictory session at the hallow chamber before departing to Anambra State through a motorcade since the flight arrangement was truncated at the Enugu Government House.”

•Photo shows Governor Chime.

Source: News Express

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