An aircraft belonging to the Akwa Ibom State Government has been damaged in an accident at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, the state government said on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information in Akwa Ibom, Ini Ememobong, the aircraft – a Bombardier Global 5000 – was hit by another aircraft at a private hangar where it was parked.
The aircraft, which is strictly for the air transportation of the Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, had its nose cone and radar damaged by the accident, the statement said.
Mr Ememobong said the owners of the other aircraft had accepted responsibility for the incident and that the Akwa Ibom aircraft would be back to use after necessary repairs.
Before the government statement, a former deputy speaker of the Akwa Ibom Assembly, Uwem Udoma, had posted a message on Facebook on the whereabouts of the aircraft.
“Where is our aircraft handed over to you in 2015 on your inauguration as the 4th governor of Akwa Ibom State,” said Mr Udoma, a chieftain of the main opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress.
The former lawmaker said the aircraft was parked in a “wrong” and “cheap” parking lot.
He claimed it was his Facebook post that prompted the Akwa Ibom State Government to inform the public about the incident.
“Almost everything in this state is done in secrecy,” he told newsmen.
This newspaper asked the commissioner, Mr Ememobong, if Mr Emmanuel was now using chartered or commercial flights.
“The beauty of insurance is to make sure that the person who ordinarily suffers loss does not suffer loss beyond what he should have suffered.
“When an airline cancels your flight, what does the airline do? It provides you with a place to sleep, is it not so? The aviation industry is a highly regulated industry,” the commissioner responded.
The Akwa Ibom aircraft was purchased at about $45 million by the administration of Godswill Akpabio in 2012.
Some residents of Akwa Ibom have been asking that the aircraft be sold off, while the governor should patronise Ibom Air, a commercial airline owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government.