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Nigerian Airline Operators Write President Buhari, Urge Him To Stop Aviation Minister From Launching National Carrier

May 25, 2023

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) accused the aviation minister of planning to ensure the launch of the airline on May 27, 2023.

Nigerian airline operators have written to the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the aviation minister from going ahead with his plan to launch Nigeria Air, the country’s national carrier, before May 29, 2023, when the President is scheduled to leave office.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) accused the aviation minister of planning to ensure the launch of the airline on May 27, 2023.

A letter written through their lawyers and signed by Abubakar Nuru Ahmad Esq of Nureini Jimoh Chambers accused Sirika of attempting to disobey a court order.  

The letter is titled, “Nigeria Air Project: Last Minute Planned Disobedience To Court Order And Deliberate Plan To Rubbish The Achievement Of This Administration”.

The letter, which was addressed to President Buhari drew his attention to Suit FHC/L/CS/2159/2022 filed by the airline operators.  


In the letter dated May 24, 2023, the AON urged the President to stop Sirika’s plan to launch the project before the end of Buhari’s administration on May 29.

The statement reads, “Honourable Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, is planning to circumvent the Court Orders on Friday 26th May, 2023 being the last working day of this administration and possibly to cover up the various infractions of Nigerian laws, amongst others.

“This was disclosed in the interview granted yesterday by the Hon. Minister to Channels Television and same has gone viral on social media. The Minister is planning to hurriedly bring in two (2) aircraft and pretend that Nigeria Air has commenced operations.


“Aside moral justification for commercial operation after the Minister’s last day in office, it is a clever way to violate the court orders. This action has no regard to whether or not it will stain the record of this administration, whether or not it will cover for corrupt actions raised in the suit and deliberately meant to violate Court Orders for self-serving purposes.


“We therefore implore your Excellency to STOP this action of the Minister of Aviation, ensure compliance with the terms of the Order and avoid needless controversies on the action after your Excellency’s administration would have expired.”


Sirika had confirmed that Nigeria Air aircraft would arrive in the country on Friday ahead of the commencement of its operations.


The statement further said that Sirika will be charged with contempt for attempting to disobey a court order, regardless of whether he is in office or not.

In April, the Federal High Court in Lagos ruled that no step should be taken concerning the project after a lawsuit was instituted against the project by the AON.


The suit alleged that there were “shady deals, deliberate infraction of the Nigerian laws and self-enrichment/corruption, mainly against the Federal Ministry of Aviation over the Nigerian Air Project.”