The Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has grounded a private chopper belonging to Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the Lagos Airport, investigations by Sunday PUNCH, has revealed.
It was learnt that the aircraft, AgustaWestland AW139 chopper , with registration number 5N-EAA, was suspended from flying over two weeks ago, following the expiration of some of its papers and spare parts.
The suspension, officials said, would also allow the regulator to conduct vital safety checks on its safety-critical components, especially some spare parts that are due for replacement.
Adeboye had, last Saturday during a special meeting with all ordained ministers of the mission at the RCCG , Region 21, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, called for drastic action against corrupt practices in all facets of Nigeria.
The RCCG leader, who flew a chopper to the venue, said he arrived late for the meeting because someone had requested a bribe from him to fly his chopper .
He said he had decided to embark on the trip via his chopper to avoid a possible gridlock on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The 72-year-old mathematician-turned-preacher said, “I don’t give excuses because I have discovered long ago that only failures give excuses. But you must pray for Nigeria.
“Something must be done about corruption in this nation. All I can say is that I am this late because somebody wanted a bribe . And you know if you are expecting a bribe from me, you have to wait forever.
“But the devil has failed. And the devil will continue to fail. I decided to come by helicopter so that there won’t be a traffic jam that would tie me down on the expressway because I know what the devil could do.
“Then, I ran into something else. But by the grace of God, we are here.”
Although Sunday PUNCH could not ascertain who requested the alleged bribe from the revered servant of God, investigations by the paper revealed that the cleric’s chopper was suspended from flying by the regulatory authority over safety issues.
Multiple aviation sources confirmed that Adeboye could not fly his chopper with registration number 5N-EAA to the Ibadan programme but had to fly another aircraft reportedly belonging to Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church ( Winners Chapel ).