Aero Contractors Sacks 95% Of Workers, But Corruption Has Already Destroyed The Airline

Aero Contractors staff protest today
By SaharaReporters, New York

It has emerged that troubled airline Aero Contractors, which suspended all of its flights last week, may be in deeper trouble than was previously revealed to the public, SaharaReporters investigations show.

Those cancellations stemmed from a dispute with workers at the airline regarding operation and pay.

Over the weekend, about 95% of the company’s workers confirmed that they received emergency sack letters from the management, and they today began a labour protest over their sacking.

Some of the staff members who spoke anonymously with SaharaReporters said the decline of the troubled airline started a while ago when convicted rogue banker, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru came into Aero at the time she held sway at Oceanic Bank and was one of the most powerful figures in the economy.
It would appear that in her bid to seize full control of Aero and to use it as a tool to engage in money laundering from Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Ibru's actions put her at loggerheads with the majority shareholder and technical partner at Canadian Helicopters (CHC).

After a series of misunderstandings and in attempt to avoid involvement in shady business deals, CHC withdrew from Aero Contractors, leaving Mrs. Ibru with her desire: complete control of the airline and the opportunity to deploy it effectively as a conduit from money laundering.  Perhaps as a result, several of the so-called investments Mrs. Ibru brought into Aero remain undocumented.  

In essence, financial officers say, some of those investments only existed on paper, plunging Aero into debts from which it never recovered.  
By the time Mrs. Ibru was convicted of bank fraud and money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), she completely owned Aero Contractors.  Curiously however, the EFCC did not list Aero Contractors as one of the assets to be confiscated by the agency, although the commission claimed to have retrieved assets that were stolen by Mrs. Ibru.

A company letterhead shows that Chief Michael Ibru and Mrs. Cecilia Ibru remain the co-chairs of the company, while her sons, O.V Ibru and O.J Ibru are co-owners. At 82, Chief Ibru is in a vegetative state, close family sources say, and has no idea what is happening to the company.

Regardless of Mrs. Ibru’s criminal conviction, the Central Bank of Nigeria gave huge amount of relief funds to bail Aero Contractors out of its difficulties even though expatriates in charge of the company in Port Harcourt and Lagos had been sacked in 2010.

After Mr. Obaro Ibru was named acting Managing Director, he hired Enyi Omoke who had retired from the United Bank of Africa (UBA).  Before Omoke, two other Heads of Finance who were brought in for that position  were sacked from office because they failed to play the fraud game the way Mrs. Ibru wanted it.

Another notorious character and long-time stooge of Mrs Ibru in Oceanic Capital, Feyi Akinbile, was also brought in to handle Aero's Human Resources on contract.

When the CBN relief funds arrived, they were balkanized and laundered by Mrs. Ibru, her children and their lackeys the same way Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh laundered defunct Air Nigeria's funds through his so-called "Energy Bank" in Ghana.

In an effort to avoid an obvious violation of aviation laws, which forbid the appointment of a non-Aeronautic expert as Managing Director, one Captain George was made a figure head MD of Aero Contractors, but staff members say “Captain George” answered as MD only when it comes to operational matters, while the criminal trio of Obaro Ibru, Enyi Omoke and Feyi Akinbile had a free hand in milking the company as it suited them, while Mrs. Ibru called the shots from the shadows.

Meanwhile, Aero Contractor’s debts continued to mount, while the rotary wing of the business in Port Harcourt collapsed gradually.
As a result of the company’s debts, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the country’s debt management agency, took over 60% of Aero Contractors’ shares.  

But while workers at Aero expected AMCON to leverage their stake in the new ownership structure and take control of the company, the agency connived with the Ibrus and left in place the management put in by Mrs. Ibru and her sons. That development made workers and aviation experts wonder if the AMCON debt buy-back was simply a ruse to help the Ibrus escape investigation for squandering CBN bailout funds.

Within the company, with six months to the expiration of Akinbile’s contract, Temitope Fagbemi (the current Human Resources manager) was employed from defunct Air Nigeria to understudy Akinbile.  Because of the atrocities perpetrated or condoned by these Managers, the Managing Director in Lagos was sacked and Enyi Omoke took up courses in IATA in preparation to becoming taking up that position, because of the consciousness that the NCAA would not approve of a non-professional assuming the position.  For now, Obaro, Mrs. Ibru's son, continues as acting MD.

But the General Manager of the rotary wing in Port Harcourt was sacked, and Akinbile seconded to the position after the expiration of his contract in Human Resources in Lagos.   It was another sleight of hand that the NCAA ought to have rejected as well but the agency has yet to be made aware of it.
Staff members who spoke to SaharaReporters say they have continued to suffer in the company under a weird management structure that has jettisoned merit for nepotism, noting the absence of salary increases.

They attribute the current mayhem to the contracting staff to a private coy without discussing it with staff Union.   They lamented that the current managers brought in by Mrs. Ibru and her scions know absolutely nothing about Aero Contractors, and accused them of coming in simply to defraud one of Nigeria’s oldest and safest airlines, and in the process, to ground it.

42 comment(s)
Post a comment


— Anonymous- 13:19

Wow! Checked out the info, turns out it's 9 DISSOLVED companies and not 7. Why would any right thinkin, forward looking person hire someone like this? Was he the new MD or swhat position is he? Apart from being an unsound business decision, it reeks of spiritual and moral deficiency. It's like importing a virus. From some of their crappy services and policies towards customers, aero was still alive, a bit ill but alive just like many service providers in Nigeria today. But to kill a 50+ brand and legacy handed over to a party animal like the ibru family has done makes you wonder at a lot of things. Values!Train up a child the way..... Hmm. Need I say more? No wonder businesses don't survive in this country.

This so called albino mark giwa-amu has successfully killed error contractors, a so called consulatant who has previously worked in 7 folded companies and he always has top management positions.Any company this individual enters that company folds up.I heard he has been in error since september barely a year he has finished aero with his bad advise and consultancy to obaro(MD).Obaro is just full of himself I pity him.

wat an error: adieu aero

Consultants indeed! They only leave when they have destroyed the company that hired them. I heard they brought one hungry retard from the UK who has also contributed to all this mess. He has managed to leave a trail of dead companies on his path, that's the kind of pple they brought in. Adieu Aero!MI was not wrong in changing your name to Error contractors.....smh

Its a pitty just within 2yrs

Its a pitty just within 2yrs Nigerian managers took over the managment of Aero Contractors from the Expatriates, Aero is at the brink of collapse.Too bad & a big shame to Obaro Ibru (a club freak & a GAY for that matter) Enyi Omoke who is suppose to be in jail by now had EFCC done their job for his attrocities while in UBA: Feyi Akinbile a funky pastor who at a time was sacked from Oceanic Bank but re absorbed to Oceanic Capital by Cecelia to perfect her shaddy deals and Tope Fagbemi who ran down Air Nigeria:
How can you sacked the entire dedicated and loyal work

don't blame this last writer

People like u are definitely ass lickers or just some ignorant guy. So d white guys that brought d union into aer which has existed for 51 years now without any major hitch are dumb right? Just within 2yrs d obarus and Amcon took over aero is already in d brink of extinction and u can actual make such lame comment here. And u evem said arik do not hv a union so u are happy that arik staff are maltreated,owed months of salaries and sacked at will? God hepeople like u.

this dude, where do u live?

this dude, where do u live? It is better to shut up and let people asume u are stupid than to expose your stupidity.

U say aero is 100 percent owned by the ibrus. U must be unaware of the debts that lead to AMCON taking 60%.

Often times arik staff are unpaid for months. Arik is also in dire straits. Let us face it. The problem is that of bad management. Please if u are uninformed, ask.

Management vs Staff - Adjourned

We don't need to argue sahara has done a good publication. Can you believe this Obaro was summoned to abuja by the minister but he refused to appear even though the party frick guy was in abuja galivanting, you know why cos he has nothing to offer block head, he spent 10 hours reassing Go and meet your loved ones at home to the staff. Again some of his cronies management staff are fro-licking in the US - omoke while albino mark giwa in europe.
Today agenda is management vs staff in court, and we all know that the judgement will definitely be adjourn..come and see

I quite understand the plight

I quite understand the plight of the workers who have lost their jobs.However I must say that their initial grieviances that started all these mess didnt hold water from my point of view.If you ask an MD to sack a trusted staff(Tope Fagbemi) and he obliges,what stops you from taking it a step further and asking him to sack himself.If the workers are being owed salaries then I will understand their grieviances.

Let truth be told that Aero is one of the few airlines where you have internal unions so the management has to deal with egoistic labour leaders at Aero and then those at the national level.I believe it is unfair to have internal union at Aero,one labour union is enough,two is extremely distruptive.Arik has no internal labour union from what I understand and it is the biggest localairlne.The management runs the company and not the labour union or staff.

By the way Aero is 100% owned by the Ibru`s so they decide how they run it.

Aero Management Vs workers union

i have been following the comments on this issues but i would like to make it clear that cecilia ibru did not acquire aero with oceanic bank.i have my facts.
what she did exactly was very disastrous to aero and oceanic bank.
she esbtablished oceanic capital as a subsidiary of oceanic bank and apply for loan to buy aeroplanes and lease them to aerocontractors. Right now there is no official paper to back it know how much an aircraft cost and they project the loan for 7 aircrafts.
the actual facts is that ,they(cecilia) and her co-hort went and get a second or third hand aircraft for aero.what this means is that aero will spend huge money on maintenance because these aircarft are already reach high maintenance level.
however,when oceanic wahala started for her, they quickly transfer the loan to aero.
This is why AMCOM came to aero.


It is only God that sees the hidden things of life. The culprits know themselves. Every man will be punished according to his/her deeds in due course. A worker deserves to be paid his wages...

In my own opinion, Corruption thrives only where it is welcomed/invited. People won't steal/cheat if there wasn't room to steal/cheat...

You don't expect a corrutible seed to yeild an incorruptible harvest, so also a good tree brings forth bad fruits... You get what u sow, sikena!


Nigeria will divert aircraft

Unless the fed govt get to the root of diversion theory by John Nnorom, former EDF of Air Nigeria who was attacked for telling nigerians that jimoh ibrahim diverted the BOI loan, which compromised safety, the new aircraft that the minister of aviation Stella oduah has negotiated to be distributed to airlines shall be DIVERTED

A thief is always a thief

Anything Ibru cannot be divorced from brutalisation of people's fund. That name appears to have tied nuptial knot with fraud. Haba, madam again?

John Nnorom , the aviation hero

I am a pilot. God bless John Nnorom who revealed the secrets of why Nigerian Airlines are collapsing. They divert our money and throw us into the labour Market.

The fearless unknown leaders

When last year one John Nnorom, the executive director finance in air Nigeria told us that jimoh ibrahim diverted air Nigeria N35.5billion, the govt did nothing. I was following this issue when the 109 senators asked CBN to recover this boi loan from jimoh ibrahim.since no punishment was executed on jimoh ibrahim, Aero has followed the same road. Shame to Nigeria.

running stomach

This is what you get from scavenging and making a meal from garbage at the city dumpster(recruiting a bunch of failures in top positions putting lives at risk).now the germs are trying to kill the host.the mgt shld sack themselves first, what moral justification does their management have?
How can you explain this Mr Lies upon lies? How much was your own fee? ... T.F. Worked in Air Nigeeria on N500,000 per month, she lost her job as she earned more salary than professionals only for her to recruited in aero on N1.8m per month btw April- december 2012 and by Jan 2013 thru some magical hoodwinking, her salary rose to N2.4m per month (N29m pa) with a brand new PRADO JEEP purchased by mgt in her name at N9.7m with N40,000 fuel seed, 3 drums of diesel to power band new gen at N8.8m;. EDFCA - 2.7m pm & mercedes jeep 12m, 80,000 fo fuel - for GM rw- 2.6m pm, prado jeep - N9.7, N40,000 for fuel all these in a coy claimed is going tru hard times. Is AMCON aware of all these?

Mrs. Ibru

Does she not have Criminal Records to show she is a Rouge?

Aero ........ Aero Aero on slipery slope

it is difficult to understand why management would ground itself or its operation for 7 days for one day lawful strike by workers who have serve the company for 10 years on an average.?

Is this tit for tat or what management would take such a stupid decision to lose monies if it is their monies that was invested into AERO.

Why would AMCOM think that a management that has run a debt of $200M could be found competent to run the tax payers $200M investment without any input from AMCON!!!!!! strange strange strange chike obi should wake up and stop decieving us all. the loss that has been incured by Aero management amounts to =N=275M/day for 7 days. i can only assume that AMCON WOULD LOOK INTO THE AIRLINE LOSS AND ADDRESS ISSUE SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY.

True talk i think they want

True talk i think they want to squander the pension too and close the airline with their fraudulent ways

the world has become so

the world has become so wicked that people now lie and cheat masses to get rich quick.A system cannot be different from its leaders or owners, what goes around comes around, but mark it if you cheat those faithful workers the airline will not last this year neither will your families i wish the government will investigate that company.

The death of safety in Nigeria

Over the years what has happened to all the airlines.The airline industry is not for the present crop of fake professionals that have no idea what safety is about.The so called workers are the employees who have upheld safety all through the years, now their voice is being killed because apparently the union at the national level have compromised at the expense of some millions in their pocket , we will see the end of their lifes.when workers cannot fight or talk about their rights,then the death of professionalism starts and with it the death of safety.

the union leader in jail has

the union leader in jail has no access to the pension fund being talked about apparently the plan is to blame someone so they can squander peoples gratuity, and they think their families will have peace.Not possible.

The reporter did his homework

The reporter did his homework very well.You cannot conclude that all the workers in a company are is not possible for all the workers to be fraudulent and the company will still be alive for over 50 years.The company has stood the test of time because of this workers. It is a known fact that when oceanic bank was taken over , all the workers who where convinced by the mangement to give out a portion of their salary as gratuity found out from the new mgt of oceanic bank that the account was empty ,all their money was taken by the previous management.

This is the strategy they use to get rich but their generations will pay for every penny they have stolen from these hardworking employees ,just because they want to squander the money of the employees

U guys should have been bold

U guys should have been bold enough to mention your names.
The battle has just began, is it every staff that were involved in fradulent act?
Wth all d haPpenings, d armed robber managers still went ahead to buy themselves exotic jeeps in their personal names. Who then is a fraud. Have you forgotten that these staff are incharge of the books. Well let's meet in court as u have said.

If it is a lie, then what is

If it is a lie, then what is the truth. The fact that the staff are also helping themselves does not detract from the fact that the ogas at the top are not criminals starting from Mrs. Ibru

Hmmmm....looks like some pro

Hmmmm....looks like some pro aero mngt people are talking.

I don't understand how anyone could be jailed for embezzling pension funds. Does he work for a PFA?

There is no smoke without fire and I believe Sahara reporters are responsible people.

One thing we have established is that many staff were sacked. This i can gather from what the 'Lies lies' writer said. Over the weekend too!!! Chai.

Why would any responsible management do this? Because they are all thieves? All of them? Chai

Is there any law to prevent this? Is this fair labour practice? U can't force an unwilling employee on any employer but there are rules of engagement and disengagement. This is ridiculous.

Aero has always been our airline of choice. But I can sense that the company is a disaster waiting to happen. The 'lies all lies' writer has exposed this. If that is the way the mngt thinks, passengers should think before they choose a airline

Bunch of fools in management

I believe those of you who wrote in favour of aero management are bunch of fools. Sahara reporters have done their homework before publishing this news and they are very correct. If care is not taken this crisis will mark the end of the existence of aero as a going concern.

Aero Contractors sack 95 workers

It is really interesting to see how we destroy each other in this country.why will saharareporters publish such without first investigating all these&you talk about meeting your lawyers in court,you need to watch it before Gods wrath falls on you.when the chinkos&lebanese people come into the country to maltreat our people&treat them like thrash,we curse&hit the roof.they will be free&they have gone scot free because they are reporting the true.
Who are you to call anybody a disgruntled worker at Aero Contractors?

if the stories are not true

if the stories are not true people will not be here defending them. the so called illegal sack is null and void, just a gimmick to intimedate workers. so sad

this is unfortunate.

this is unfortunate. unemployment figure rising.

Fifth Columnists at Work Here

I am an avid reader of sahara reporters news and i have had occasions to commend your news. However, i am not so sure your reporter did his or her homework regarding this news item. Let me say that the comments that I have read supports that coupled with the little that I know of the happenings in Aero Contractors. People should leave mrs Ibru out of this. She has served her punishment so there is no reason whatsoever to be abusing her by calling her rogue banker any time there is a cause to mention her name.
Back to the issue, aero staff deserves to be sacked! Many of them are real rogues and deserve what has happened to them. What the Aero management is doing is to recover a business in the throes of death and the people killing it are fighting back. For all you care, the sacked MD ought to be in jail by now if not for soft-landing grated him!

Post a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Comments are limited to a maximum of 1000 characters.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <p> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.