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Alleged Extortion: ‘We are sorry, forgive us’, Azman Air begs NCAA DG

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Alleged Extortion: 'We are sorry, forgive us', Azman Air begs NCAA DG

Azman Air has apologised to Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), over false allegations made by a staff of the airline.

The staff, in a letter, had accused the director-general of unprofessionalism and extortion.

Reacting to the accusation, Muhammad Abdulmunaf, accountable manager of Azman Air, in a statement, on Tuesday, said the statement which contained the false allegations was written by an “overzealous staff” without the knowledge and consent of the management.

He explained that the staff erroneously thought that the suspension of the airline by the regulator was due to its failure to pay for its advertisement in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) magazine.

“On March 21, 2021, we issued a press statement expressing our surprise and shock at a publication credited to us in which the integrity and reputation of the Director General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, came under attack as a result of the decision taken by the regulator to suspend our operations based on safety considerations,” the statement reads in part.

“In the said press release, we denied management’s knowledge and approval for such careless and unfortunate allegations made against the person of the DG but promised to conduct internal investigations as to the source/s of the allegations.

“We have now conducted such in-house investigations which led to accusations and counter accusations amongst our staff as to who did it. We have established that, at least, it came from one of them hence our disappointment with ourselves.

“It is true that we were contacted, just as other airlines in the country, to advertise our services in the ICAO magazine for which payment was to be made.

“We inadvertently failed to make this payment which however had nothing to do with the personal accounts of the DG but the publishers of the magazine.”

The carrier pleaded with Nuhu, NCAA, and Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, for any embarrassment its actions might have caused them.

Maintaining that there is no iota of truth in the allegations, it also promised to tighten its communication channels to prevent a recurrence.

On March 16, the NCAA suspended the operations of Azman Air over safety concerns.

Aeroplanes operated by the airline had suffered two tyre mishap incidents at the Abuja and Kaduna airports.

Meanwhile, the regulator has concluded a safety audit which found the airline guilty of unsafe practices.

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