The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the arrest of two helicopter pilots for allegedly violating the Executive Order issued by the state government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
They have also been remanded in prison by a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court, even as the governor declared that he is willing to set aside his immunity to testify against anyone who violates the state’s border closure regulations.
He said this at the office of the state Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Mustapha Dandaura, in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, following the arrest of the pilots whom he (Wike) said had illegally transported expatriates to the state.
According to the Flight Crew Association of Nigeria, the pilots were operating essential oil and gas services, as approved by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s notice to airmen.
Reacting to the incident, the helicopter company said its client, as well as, itself had the approval/ exemption to fly and continue operations in the oil and gas industry.
In a press statement, the company said it was informed that Governor Wike was coming to address the operators in Port Harcourt and they waited.
“But on arriving, the governor directed two of our pilots to be taken to CID where they were told to write statements and will be remanded till the 19th of May,” the company said.
They, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to ask the Rivers State Government to release their pilots who according to them, have violated no law and were unduly punished.