The Rivers State Government stated on Saturday that Caverton Helicopters flew in over 220 passengers to the state without allowing health professionals from the state to ascertain their status regarding the novel Coronavirus.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the firm also refused to provide the contacts of the passengers so that they could be traced and tested.
It will be recalled that two Caverton Helicopters pilots and 10 passengers were arrested and arraigned before a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt for allegedly flouting a no-flight order by the state government.

The arraigned Caverton Helicopters Pilots.
The arraigned Caverton Helicopters Pilots.

Nsirim, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt, urged the Federal Government to direct its business associates to subject themselves to health checks to ascertain their COVID-19 status.
He pointed out that before the arrest of the two pilots and 10 passengers, the state government had urged Caverton and other operators to ensure that their pilots and passengers were tested by Rivers health officials, adding that the company (Caverton) disregarded the warning.
“Before their arrests, the Rivers State Government issued several warnings to Caverton and other operators to ensure that their pilots and passengers are tested by Rivers State health authorities. Caverton Helicopters disregarded the warnings.
“They were arrested because they constantly contravened the Executive Order issued by the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, which requires that everyone coming into the state for essential duties subject themselves to mandatory health checks to ascertain their coronavirus status.
“At the last count, Caverton Helicopters ferried over 220 passengers into the state without allowing health professionals of the Rivers State Government ascertain their coronavirus status. They also refused to avail the state government their contacts; so, they can be traced and tested,” he said.
Caverton Helicopters have since been declared “persona non grata for endangering the lives of Rivers people by its suspicious operations” by the Rivers state government.
Caverton Helicopters
Caverton Helicopters

Caverton Helicopters has appealed to the Federal Government to influence the Governor of River State, Mr Nyesom Wike to release its pilots who have been remanded at the Port Harcourt prison.
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), has commended the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to meet with Rivers State government to find an amicable settlement to free detained pilots of Carveton Helicopters.

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