The director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA Capt. Muhtar Usman has justified the regulatory agency’s decision to deregister two aircraft of Topbrass Aviation.
Speaking at the agency’s headquarters at the Lagos Airport yesterday, Capt. Usman said that the Nigerian operator of the aircraft violated the agreement it reached with the lessor.
He stated that that no aircraft was stolen at the Murtala Muahmmed Airport (MMA), Lagos as claimed by Topbrass.
The NCAA boss maintained that the regulatory authority’s action was in line with the Cape Town Convention, adding that the lessee already signed an agreement with the lessor and NCAA before taking possession of the two aircraft as required by the law.
He disclosed that the deregistered aircraft had already been flown out of the country in line with the agreement Topbrass had with the lessor.
The DG stressed that NCAA would always abide by the law.
He emphasised that no amount of accusation would make the NCAA to renege on its stand on the two aircraft and other critical issues in the system.
Usman lamented that since 2004 that the issue had been on, the lessor was unable to put the aircraft up for use, saying that with the situation, the lessee and the lessoers were losing money.
He explained further that for the aircraft to be put back to use, the company would have to carry out all the required checks on the aircraft for safety reason.
It would be recalled that Capt. Roland Iyayi, the managing director of Topbrass, had accused NCAA and some organisations in the sector of flouting a ruling concerning two aircraft, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 with MSN 613, registration number 5N-TBB and Bombardier Dash 8 Q 300 series with MSN and with registration number 5N-TBC.
Iyayi had alleged that the company had secured a court injunction at the Federal High Court presided over by Justice C.J Aneke in suit no: FHC/L/CS/1658/2015, which restrained all the defendants from tampering with its assets, two Dash-8 Q-300s with registration 5N-TBB with MSN 613 and 5N-TBC with MSN 614.
But, Usman yesterday wondered why Iyayi accused the regulatory body of working against the company’s interest.
He said: “Information reaching us indicated that Topbrass claimed the aircraft was stolen from Lagos Airport, but this is not true. No aircraft was stolen in Lagos. NCAA is not in the process of conniving with anybody and those aeroplanes in question are no longer under the registration of NCAA because they have since long time be deregistered in line with the provision of the adherer, signed by the person who is making the allegation, giving NCAA the power in line with the Cape Town Convention to deregister and also assist for the repossession of the aircraft when there is default without making any reference to that operator.
“All the actions carried out by NCAA were in line with the provision of the law. We are a government agency; we don’t have anything to hide. We believe in the rule of law, just as the current administration believes in the rule of law”.