Caverton Helicopters Limited stated that it never intentionally violated the lockdown order in Rivers, contrary to initial reports. The company’s offices in Rivers State were “forcefully” shut down earlier this month after it was accused of violating a directive by Governor Nyesome Wike.
Here’s what happened: About one week after President Muhammadu Buhari issued lockdown orders for some parts of the country, two pilots working for Caverton Helicopters flew into Port Harcourt from an offshore mission. The pilots were subsequently arrested by the Rivers State Government, even as the company’s offices were put under locks and keys.
The Rivers State Government’s action was based on the fact that Caverton Helicopters violated an initial executive order by Governor Nyesome Wike, which had prohibited the entry of vehicles and flights into the state starting from the 19th of March, 2020.
The current situation: A statement that was signed by the Company Secretary, Amaka Obiora, as seen on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, has now clarified that Caverton Helicopters never intended to violate the directive.
“Caverton never acted to undermine or override the River breach the State’s COVID-19 containment nor breach the state’s Covid-19 containment orders, it relied on the approval granted by the Ministry of Aviation through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to provide logistics for and Gas industries,” the statement said.
In the meantime, the company’s offices in Rivers State remain shut, even though the pilots have been freed on bail. Caverton Helicopters said it is now negotiating with authorities in Rivers State towards a possible re-opening of the facilities.