Sources in the Osun State government have revealed that a copper wire was found inside the engine of the private jet that was meant to carry the state governor, Ademola Adeleke, leading to the cancellation of the trip.
Tragedy was averted about two weeks ago when a private jet owned by Nigerian billionaire businessman, Chief Adedeji Adeleke, made a cracking noise while it was about to take off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, leading to an abrupt cancellation of the trip.
Adedeji Adeleke is the father of Afrobeat star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido and also the brother of the Osun governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Governor Adeleke alleged sabotage in the incident, while the hanger owner claimed that a bird’s nest caused the incident.
However, as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) announced that they have launched an investigation into the incident, sources in the state government on Monday told SaharaReporters that when the incident happened, a copper wire was found stuffed inside the engine.
The chief executive officer (CEO), Executive Jets, which manages the hangar where the private jet was parked, Sam Iwuajoku, earlier told LEADERSHIP that the aircraft had Foreign Object Damage (FOD) that made the aircraft experience high temperature, which resulted in the explosion.
According to him, the FOD was caused by a bird’s nest in one of the engines of the jet.
However, one of the Osun Government House sources said, “The man (the owner of the hanger) said it was a bird’s nest. But the plane was used by Davido the previous night and the governor was to use the same plane the following day, how can a bird enter and set a nest in less than how many hours?
“Secondly, bird nests are made of small straws and once the engine of the plane is on, it will blow away the straws. But in this engine, they put iron copper wire inside the engine. Maybe they used sticks to push it inside and when we were about to move, the engine made a loud noise and that was when they checked and saw it. It was not an explosion as they said.”
Another source who provided the same argument said, “Saying it is a bird’s nest means the man is just trying to protect his business. You know what that means for him. If Dangote is aware that his plane is not safe there, they will move their planes away from the hangar and his business will crash.
“The Executive Jet hanger is owned by a private person but licensed by the NCAA. That hanger is where Dangote also uses. Danjuma, Abdul Samad Rabiu of BUA, Ogun State Governor; all the owners of Nigeria, that is where they pack their private jets.
“That means it is a very highly sensitive zone. So, to imagine what happened to the governor, that means all those owners of Nigeria are not safe.
“So, I think to protect his business, he said that it was a bird’s nest. If the state government had not issued the counter-statement, he would have gone away with that and people would have believed that it was a bird’s nest.
“Bird strike is different from bird’s nest but it was not the case of bird strike.”
The source added, “But what would have happened if there was no noise and the plane actually took off? It means that the engine would have packed up and the plane would have crashed.”