How Rivers arrested, remanded 10 Carveton passengers after remanding 2 pilots

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By Codratus Godson

Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said he got intelligence that some helicopters were ferrying people into the state illegally.

The Commissioner of Police, Kastina-born Mustapha Dandaura, said the Nigeria Air Force informed him and he went to arrest them.

The management of Carveton Helicopters said they were invited for a meeting with the governor, only for him to order the arrest of their pilots.

Gov Wike said his anger is that the company refused to handover the manifest which would reveal those present in the chopper.

The result is a full-scale confrontation between the Rivers State government and Carveton which invariably is escalating to involve the FG and the oil companies.

Details:

A Rivers State government statement Wednesday April 8, 2020 morning said the action against Carveton Helicopters continued the previous day with the arrest and arraignment of 10 passengers that were ferried by the two pilots that have been remanded till May 19, 2020.

The press statement issued by the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrates’ Court No. 11 presided over by Chief Magistrate D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi Esq ordered the remand of 10 passengers who flew into the Air Force Base Port Harcourt on board the Twin-Otter Caventon Helicopters on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in alleged contravention of paragraph 8 of the Executive Order RVSG-01 2020 .

The statement said the defendants pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge preferred against them by the Rivers State Government and were ordered to be remanded at any government facility to enable medical personnel from the State carry out test to determine their coronavirus (COVID-19) status.

According to the statement, the prosecution team was led by a professor, Z. Adangor, who is the Attorney-General And Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State. The 10 passengers were arraigned via charge number:PMC/533C/2020 . Their names were given as NWOGU CHIBUNA  ‘M’, AGED 39YRS;  PETER MICHAEL ‘M’AGED 43YRS;  AJAGBA IHEAYIN ‘M’ AGED 35YRS (Should be Iheanyi); EKPEREWECHI OGUGUO ‘M’AGED 43YRS; NSIKAN PIUS ‘M’ AGED 38YRS; ABANOBI CHINOSO ‘M’AGED 27YRS; UDOH HAGAN ‘M’AGED 28YRS; OKACHUKWU CHUKS ‘M’ AGED 41YRS; GODDY CHUKW ‘M’AGED 42YRS; OOMERURIKE CHIJIOKE ‘M’AGED 43YRS.

The statement said they were arrested at the Air Force Base , Port Harcourt after the Rivers State Police Command received intelligence on their illegal flight into the State.
They were arraigned on a four-count charge.

The charges:

COUNT I: That you Nwoqu Chibuna ‘m’, Peter Michael ‘m’, Ajagba Iheayin ‘m’,
Ekperewechi Oququo ‘m’, Nsikan Pius ‘m’, Abanobi Chinoso ‘m’, Udoh Hagan ,
Okachukwu Chuks ‘m’, Goddy Chukw ‘m’ and Oomerurike Chijioke ‘m being
passengers on board the Twin-Otter, Caverton Helicopters on the 7″ day of April, 2020
at Air Force Base, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did conspire
amongst yourselves to commit misdemeanor to wit: Disobedience to lawful order and
thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 517 A of the Criminal Code
Cap: 37, Vol. 11 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

COUNT II: That you Nwogu Chibuna ‘m’, Peter Michael ‘m’, Ajagba Iheayin ‘m’,
Ekperewechi Oguguo ‘m’, Nsikan Pius ‘m’, Abanobi Chinoso ‘m’, Udoh Hagan ‘m’,
Okachukwu Chuks ‘m’, Goddy Chukw ‘m’ and Oomerurike Chijioke ‘m’ on the same
date and place at the aforesaid Magisterial District, did intentionally disobey the lawful
order issued by the Governor of Rivers State as contained in paragraph 8 of the
Executive Order RVSG – 01 2020 made Pursuant to Sections 2, 4 and 8 of Quarantine
Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Regulation 11 of the
Quarantine (Corona Virus (Covid-19) and other Infectious Diseases) Regulations, 2020
by transiting into Port Harcourt after disembarking from Twin-Otter Caverton
Helicopters at Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence
punishable under Section 5 of the Quarantine Act Cap. Q2 LFN, 2004.

COUNT III: Nwogu Chibuna ‘m’, Peter Michael ‘m’, Ajagba Iheayin ‘m’,
Ekperewechi Oguguo ‘m’, Nsikan Pius ‘m’, Abanobi Chinoso ‘m’, Udoh Hagan ‘m’,
Okachukwu Chuks ‘m’, Goddy Chukw ‘m’ and Oomerurike Chijioke ‘m’ on the same
date and place at the aforesaid Magisterial District, did conduct yourselves in a manner
likely to cause a breach of peace by disembarking from Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters
at Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and transiting into Port Harcourt and thereby
committed an offence punishable under Section 249(d) of the Criminal Code Laws of
Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

COUNT IV: Nwogu Chibuna ‘m’, Peter Michael ‘m’, Ajaqba Theayin ‘m’,
Ekperewechi Oguguo ‘m’, Nsikan Pius ‘m’, Abanobi Chinoso ‘m’, Udoh Hagan ‘m’,
Okachukwu Chuks ‘m’, Goddy Chukw ‘m’ and Oomerurike Chijioke ‘m’ on the same
date and place at the aforesaid Magisterial District. did intentionally disobey the
order issued by the Governor of Rivers State on restrict  within the State contrary to paragraph 8 the Executive Order RVSG – 01 2020 and  an offence punishable under Section 203 of the Criminal Code Laws .

Superintendent of Police,   Gladys Imegu, officer-in-charge,  Legal/Prosecutions of the Rivers State Police Command was part of the prosecution.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chief Magistrate D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi Esq remanded the pilot and co-pilot of Twin-Otter Caventon Helicopters, Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari in prison custody for the illegal flight.

Meanwhile am oil company source said the workers had stayed 28 days instead of 14 days offshore and had to be brought back. The source was of the view that the helicopter company must have obtained all relevant approvals to fly in keeping with due process.

Carveton had issued a statement saying they obtained two levels of approval to fly; one from the regulatory agency and two the client during emergency periods.  The case may test state rights over federal orders.

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