NCAA Rejects Blackmail Attempts, Denies Vehicle Purchase Allegations

Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) rejects allegations of financial mismanagement and vehicle purchase, calling them blackmail attempts. The agency denies any wrongdoing, threatening legal action against those responsible for the false claims.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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NCAA Rejects Blackmail Attempts, Denies Vehicle Purchase Allegations

NCAA Rejects Blackmail Attempts, Denies Vehicle Purchase Allegations

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has firmly rejected a series of blackmail proposals and letters from sponsored groups following a false and defamatory publication by the Daily Nigerian. The agency categorically denies allegations of financial mismanagement, breaches of government procurement regulations, and abuse of office by its acting Director-General, Chris Najomo.

Why this matters: The allegations of corruption and mismanagement in a critical regulatory agency like the NCAA can erode public trust and compromise the safety and efficiency of the aviation sector. If left unchecked, such practices can have far-reaching consequences for the country's economy and international reputation.

The allegations, which surfaced two weeks ago, claimed that the NCAA purchased a 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser (70th Anniversary Edition) worth over N250 million as the official vehicle for the DG. In an official statement issued on Saturday, May 11, 2024, the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Michael Achimugu, dismissed the allegations, stating that "no purchase of vehicles has been made and so, no procurement rules have been abused."

Achimugu emphasized that the NCAA will not bow to blackmail or threats of any nature and will respond robustly to any further attempts to cause chaos within the agency. He challenged any organization, publication, or individual with a purchase receipt or evidence of the alleged vehicle purchase to publish it, stating that the NCAA will not hesitate to take legal action against blackmailers.

The authority has already served notice of legal action on the publisher of Daily Nigerian and the reporter responsible for the defamatory publication. "We are not unaware of the elements behind these spurious attempts designed to aid the bid of certain power seekers, and we will respond robustly to any further attempts to cause chaos in our agency," Achimugu declared.

The NCAA reiterated its commitment to ensuring that safety and economic regulations are strictly adhered to within the aviation sector. Achimugu expressed gratitude for the support of President Bola Tinubu, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo, as well as NCAA staff and unions who recently expressed confidence in the Capt. Najomo-led management.

"The NCAA acknowledges the genuine Civil Society Organisations, who have written to seek clarification about the issues raised. We will continue to be transparent about their concerns and we stand by our response via the press conference held on 29/04/2024 that no purchase of vehicles has been made and so, no procurement rules have been abused," Achimugu stated. He emphasized that neither the agency nor Capt. Chris Najomo will be distracted by falsehood and blackmail as they carry out their regulatory duties.

As the NCAA continues to reject the blackmail attempts and false allegations, it remains focused on its mission to ensure the highest standards of safety and compliance in Nigeria's aviation industry. The agency's firm stance against intimidation and commitment to transparency underscore its dedication to serving the public interest and maintaining the integrity of its operations.

Key Takeaways

  • NCAA rejects blackmail proposals and letters over false allegations.
  • Agency denies financial mismanagement, procurement breaches, and abuse of office.
  • No purchase of vehicles, including 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser, was made.
  • NCAA threatens legal action against blackmailers and defamatory publications.
  • Agency remains committed to ensuring safety and compliance in Nigeria's aviation industry.