Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has recounted his narrow escape after the engines of a private jet that was supposed to convey him from Lagos to Abuja failed in quick succession.
The incident took place on September 5, 2023, at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, when Adeleke had intended to embark on a routine flight from Lagos to Abuja.
The ill-fated aircraft, a Bombardier Global Express 6000, owned by the prominent business magnate, Adedeji Adeleke, lost power in both its engines around 9am, just moments before takeoff.
On board were Governor Adeleke and his entourage of aides.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Executive Jets, the company responsible for the jet’s hangar, Sam Iwuajoku, reportedly disclosed that Chief Adeleke’s private jet suffered from Foreign Object Damage (FOD), leading to a surge in engine temperatures and a subsequent explosion.
Iwuajoku further elaborated that the FOD, in this case, was attributed to a bird’s nest lodged within one of the jet’s engines.
But Governor Adeleke disagreed with Iwuajoku’s submission, saying he suspects foul play in the incident.
Shedding light on his traumatic experience, Adeleke expressed strong suspicions of sabotage, asserting that some persons must have tampered with the aircraft’s engines.
His spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, conveyed the Osun Governor’s suspicion, stating, “There are strong indications that the two aircraft engines were tampered with before boarding.”
He noted that “the highly technically equipped aircraft was well maintained with the best technical crew and was never an unused platform where birds could build nests.
“Contrary to the claim by the hanger owner that birds’ nests caused the incident, birds’ nests are made with straws not bidding wires as in this case.”
According to Adeleke, “the near-fatal incident was averted shortly after boarding and less than two minutes after the commencement of taxing on the tarmac.
“An early warning noise from the engines immediately prompted the pilots to direct the evacuation of the passengers. Everything happened within five minutes.
“Early reports from the internal investigation indicated sabotage. But the authorities, locally and internationally, are still investigating the incident.”
He assured that Governor Adeleke and his aides were safe and there was no injury or any outward explosion on the plane.