The House of Representatives Wednesday cleared the Rivers State Government of any wrongdoing in the operations of the state-owned Bombadier B700 Global Express jet.
The lawmakers declared that the grounding of the aircraft by the NCAA was illegal, adding that the state government should be allowed to comply with the necessary conditions for granting of all required permits and licences for the aircraft.
The verdict came when the House at the Committee of the Whole considered and adopted the report of its Joint Committee on Justice and Aviation on the urgent need to investigate the justification and circumstances surrounding the controversial grounding of the aircraft last April.
Chairman of the joint committee, Hon. Ali Ahmad (PDP/ Kwara), who briefed his colleagues on the outcome of the investigation, explained that the allegations on which the NCAA based its actions were false.
The committee, Ahmad said, found out that the aircraft was registered in the United States and that over 70 per cent of private jets in the country was equally registered abroad.
The House has therefore requested the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to consider prosecuting Caverton Helicopters for misleading the NCAA into grounding the aircraft.
The lawmakers said for providing information that led the authorities to wrongly believe that the state government falsified documents thereby leading to grounding of its aircraft, the Attorney General should consider prosecuting Caverton Helicopters under the provisions of section 36 (4) Civil Aviation Act. C13, 2004.
The House also urged the Ministry of Aviation to desist from undue interference in the daily operations of regulatory authorities in the aviation industry.
The plane was grounded last April by the NCAA, which had accused it of operating illegally in Nigeria because it was not duly registered in the country.