The Federal Government has denied media reports that the Labour Party‘s campaign plane was grounded.
Naija News reported that supporters of the LP Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and some party chieftains were prevented from boarding the plane to their rally in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Head of Media for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, said the plane was grounded at the Lagos airport by the ‘powers that be’, citing “regulatory reasons.”
Reacting to the development, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) denied the allegations that the LP’s campaign plane was grounded to frustrate the party’s campaign.
In a statement on Wednesday, the authority explained that the plane belonged to a scheduled operator also known as a commercial flight operator.
The NCAA said the flight crew of the aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on a mechanical issue that developed soon after it took off.
It said the safety precautionary flight measures were taken by the flight operator, and not by the NCAA, saying that the authority was not involved in the decision.
It said, “The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off.
“This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”