Nigeria: Why Our Helicopter Carrying Osinbajo Crashed in Kogi - Caverton Group

Photo: Vanguard
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
2 February 2019

An air charter service, Caverton Helicopter, on Saturday blamed hazy weather conditions for the helicopter crash involving Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Lagos-based firm said the incident occurred at about 3:00 p.m. in Kabba, Kogi State, confirming earlier account of Mr Osinbajo's office.

Josiah Choms, an executive at Caverton, said Mr Osinbajo was being conveyed in an Augusta AW139 chopper when it lost control as it was about to touch down.

Mr Osinbajo was on a campaign mission ahead of the presidential elections later this month.

The accident was due to "unusual weather conditions," Mr Choms said, adding that there were no injuries to the passengers or crew members as they were all quickly and safely evacuated.

"The relevant authorities have been duly informed and an investigation into the incident has commenced. We will, of course, support the authorities as required," the statement added.

Mr Osinbaj, who is the running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the elections scheduled for February 16, has been inundated with congratulatory messages from Nigerians of different political affiliations.

Labour minister, 10 others on-board

Meanwhile, the vice-president's office has released additional details about the incident.

Laolu Akande, a presidential spokesperson, said 12 people including the minister of state for labour and productivity, Stephen Ocheni, senior presidential aides, security officials were on board the helicopter.

"We are grateful to God for His protection and safety, and we thank the crew and security personnel for their prompt response and service. We are also grateful for the tremendous expressions of concern and affection, as well as prayers from all.

"As is procedural, a full investigation into the causes of the incident would be conducted by aviation authorities," the spokesperson said.

He added that Mr Osinbajo had since continued his campaign. The vice-president himself stated this earlier in his first tweet posted shortly after the accident.

The crash comes three years after James Ocholi, a former minister state labour and productivity, James Ocholi, was killed alongside his wife and son in a car accident along Kaduna Abuja Highway. The minister's driver was said to be driving without a valid licence.

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