The Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke and some of his aides on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, escaped an air crash.
According to sources who spoke with Leadership, Adeleke was on board when a private jet owned by billionaire businessman, Adedeji Adeleke (his elder brother) caught fire at the take-off point at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos State.
Sources who spoke on the incident said Adeleke owns the Bombardier Global Express 6000 involved in the incident. The jet is used as a family plane by the Adelekes.
The incident happened at the domestic wing of the Airport at about 9 a.m. on Tuesday when the jet was about to take off from Lagos to Abuja.
A further report has it that the incident was not formally communicated to the concerned Aviation regulatory authorities, a development that is against standard protocol.
Reports indicated that the jet, with the Osun State governor on board and his top aides at the time of the incident, had taxied to the end of the runway, shortly before departure, when a loud explosion was heard from the engine of the jet, causing it to abort take-off immediately.
A source said, “No deaths or injuries were reported, and other passengers in the plane as of the time of the incident could not be ascertained.”
It was gathered that the jet had been parked at the Executive Jet hanger of the Airport before it was deployed on September 5.
One of the passengers on the plane, who spoke with the platform on condition of anonymity said foul play was being suspected from the hangar operators as both engines of the aircraft were damaged.
However, the chief executive officer (CEO), Executive Jets, owner of the hangar where the private jet was parked, Sam Iwuajoku, disclosed that Chief Adeleke’s private jet had Foreign Object Damage (FOD) that made the aircraft experience high temperature, which resulted into the explosion.
According to him, the FOD was caused by a bird nest in one of the engines of the jet.
He said, “At take-off, the engine had a high temperature and it was caused by a bird nest in one of the engines of the aircraft. It happens when an aircraft is parked and not properly covered so, birds will build their nest and anything they bring into the aircraft can spark high temperatures.
“It happened to one of my aircraft in 2021, we had to remove the engine and the engine was in Germany for 14 months. So, it’s a common thing in Africa because we have birds around.”
Credible sources that spoke with the platform, however, stated that popular musician, Davido had used the plane the previous day, September 4, putting a lie to Iwuajoku of Executive Jets’ account of the incident.
A source revealed that the incident was not reported to the NCAA as the Air Worthiness Department of the Authority wasn’t aware of the incident.
The source, who craved anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak on the matter, said: “NCAA isn’t aware of this incident because the Air Worthiness Department is not aware.”