Nigeria: Govt Suspends Execujet for Flying Naira Marley to Abuja for Concert

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, says Execujet, the flight company that conveyed musician Naira Marley and ex-BB Naija housemate, Kim Oprah, to Abuja for a concert, has been suspended indefinitely.

Mr Sirika said this at the daily briefing on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday, in Abuja.

The minister said the flight was approved for a different purpose - to convey a serving judge from Lagos to Abuja and back, on official assignment.

But the flight operator violated the approval, he said.

He also said the flight crew will be punished for providing misleading information while the flight captain will also be sanctioned for providing false information.

"We approved a flight indeed, but not for any musician. The approved flight was to convey a justice on official assignment, but ExecuJet illegally used it to convey musician to Abuja for a concert. We have suspended ExecuJet's operations indefinitely, (it) will also be fined," the minister said.

The development comes barely 24 hours after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) sealed Jabi Lake Mall for violating the ban on public gatherings.

Naira Marley held a concert at Jabi mall on Saturday in contravention of the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Tolu Ogunlesi, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on new media, also tweeted, "ExecuJet are the culprits here. According to the Minister of Aviation, they provided false information and used approval granted for an illegal flight operation to convey a musician to Abuja (for an illegal concert)".

Background

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that hip-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, held a concert at Jabi mall on Saturday in contravention of the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Ms Oprah was the event anchor.

The concert was put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El'Carnival, and was sponsored by Glenfiddich.

Nairabox and Ariiya sold the concert's tickets for N20,000 and N250,000.

Naira Marley, 26, and Oprah shared videos of themselves inside a private enroute Abuja and upon arriving in the federal capital

A flier advertising the concert which was shared on Instagram on Saturday by the organisers and Oprah indicated that it was meant to be a drive-through.

But this was not the case as videos circulating on social media show Naira Marley performing on stage before a crowd at the venue.

But the organisers said they instructed the crowd to go back to their cars before Naira Marley mounted the stage and have proof to back their claims.

This has sparked outrage on social media with many comparing their actions to that of Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, who was on April 6, arrested and fined for hosting a party in her Lekki home in violation of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Naira Marley, who is not a stranger to controversies, was also indicted when he showed up at the party which Akinedele organised in honour of her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, also known as JJC Skillz.

Many Nigerians have also taken to social media to criticise Naira Marley, Oprah, and the organisers of the concert, Play Network.

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