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Apparently afraid of another possible invasion of the Enugu State Government House, the state Governor, Sullivan Chime, yesterday ordered the seizure of an aero contractor helicopter that was said to have landed in the governor's lodge in error.
This is coming about one month after a pro-Biafran group, Biafra Zionist Federation, (BZF), attacked the state Government House in a bid to hoist Biafran flags.
The helicopter was said to be a chartered flight contracted to fly the corpse of the late Hon. Andy Umeoji from the nearby state House of Assembly complex to Anambra State for burial.
The corpse of Umeoji was said to have arrived Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu from overseas via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and was taken via a motorcade to the Enugu State House of Assembly for a valedictory session before departing to Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State for burial via the chartered helicopter.
But the helicopter erroneously landed at the Enugu governor’s lodge instead of the nearby House of Assembly complex and was impounded on the orders of the governor.
The helicopter was said to have caused security breach and heightened tension at the government house.
A statement from the Chief Press Secretary to Chime, Chukwudi Achife, confirmed the incident, noting the three crew members of the helicopter had been handed over to the police.
Achife's statement read: "At about 10.30a.m. today (yesterday), an helicopter bearing the branded mark of Aero Contractors landed without permission at the governor's lodge. The mission of the visitors was unknown to the government.
"After preliminary inquiries, the Chief Security Officer to the governor, Mr Fidelis Ogarebe, handed the three occupants of the aircraft -two pilots and one engineer over to the state police command for further investigations."
When contacted for reaction, spokesman of Aero Contractor, Simon Tumba, pleaded for time to respond to the development but never got back to our correspondent till press time.
The late Umeoji was a former member of the old Anambra State House of Assembly in 1983 and expectedly given a valedictory session at the hallow chamber before departing to Anambra State through a motorcade since the flight arrangement was truncated at the Enugu Government House.
A source at the House of Assembly complex said they were expecting the helicopter to land at assembly ground when they got information that it was sized at the government house.