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%AM, %18 %041 %2014 %00:%Sep

Ayo Oritsejafor Admits Ownership of Seized Jet With 10 Million USD In South Africa

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"On behalf of Pastor Oritsejafor, we can confirm that although he holds an interest in Eagle Air, the aircraft in question is not operated by Pastor Oritsejafor", the statement by the Word of Life Bible Church said.

The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has dissociated himself from the operation of an aircraft arrested with 10 million dollars in South Africa. The aircraft with registration number N808HG, is said to be owned by Eagle Air company, a company in which the pastor reportedly has a stake.

A statement issued by the personal assistant to the CAN president, Bayo Adewoye in Warri said that Pastor Oritsejafor does not operate the aircraft, adding that inquiries on its current state should be directed to the company it had been leased to.

"The aircraft is owned by Eagle Air Company, which has confirmed that since August 2, 2014, the aircraft has been leased to and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited. This is a standard practice in the industry"

The statement went on to say that "All enquiries in respect of the day to day operations of this aircraft should be properly directed to the management of Green Coast Produce Limited. We will be happy to help the authorities with any enquiries".

In a statement by Emmanuel Ohaeri, the General Manager of Eagle Air Company, which earlier admitted ownership of the jet held in South Africa with the two Nigerians and an Israeli for conveying about 10 million dollars, the company also claimed holding a "residual interest" in the aircraft. The company however said it leased the aircraft to Green Coast Produce Limited since August 2.

In yet another statement. the management of Green Coast Produce Company Limited confirmed the aircraft had been leased to it, saying such transactions were normal in the aviation industry. The company explained that the jet was in turn hired from it by one John Ishyaku and that it would not be liable for any alleged infractions either in Nigeria or South Africa after the hire. This was stated in a statement by the company's director, Shima Adun.

"On the 5th of September 2014, the aircraft was hired from us by a John Ishyaku. The charter to John Ishyaku was upon the following documented items: (a) Depart Abuja-Johannesburg on the 5th of September 2014 (b) Return to Abuja on the 6th of September 2014 (c) To wait and return with the passengers".

The statement by the company further said that "all cargoes were accompanied by passenger who could readily defend the contents. We are not and cannot be privy to any alleged extraneous cargo transported on the aircraft other than declared in the agreed terms of hire. We are not liable and cannot be construed as party to any alleged infractions, either in Nigeria or South Africa as the case may be, after the hire of the aircraft".

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