Falana's warning sparks legal showdown over Arik Air assets
Arik Air Boeing 737-76N(WL) sourced from Planespotters.net
  • Airline founder Johnson Ikhide responds EFCC summons
  • Receiver Manager at large as anti-graft agency moves in to investigate fraud, asset stripping

It would seem, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) have been investigating Arik Air in Receivership following what is alleged  asset stripping under the airline’s Receiver Management with no fewer than eight(8) aircraft stripped bare to carcasses at the airline’s hangar in the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos.

A fortnight ago, June 2nd, 2023 the anti-graft agency paid an unscheduled visit to the airline where it was alleged that an aircraft was  being torn down to be shipped in parts.

It was learnt that the EFCC has grilled certain players connected to aircraft teardown and have invited them to headquarters in Abuja.

A source close to our reporter said that of the aircraft at the Arik hangar, it was discovered that eight of them had no dash boards, avionics were missing and other parts that made the aircraft airworthy.

Receiver Management could not equally account for missing brand-new spare engines for Q400 Dash 8 and CRJ 900 AND B737 engines among others. READ ALSO: CRJ1000: Arik Air in receivership lied, should be investigated- JEM Leasing

As a matter of  fact, information reaching NigerianFLIGHTDECK is that the airline’s start up aircraft,  CRJ 900, Reg (No 5N-JEA)  has been cannibalised, butchered and shipped out of Nigeria while a Boeing 737-700 NG, Reg No 5N-MJI has been butchered and allegedly sold in Malta. 

Our portal gathered that the CRJ900 Bombardier Aerospace aircraft with manufacturer’s serial no 15058 and NCAA registration marks 5N-JEA  valued at $31m imported into Nigeria in 2006 as start up aircraft for the airline on a concessioning import duty waiver has been discreetly stripped at the Arik Air hangar recently and illegally exported without compliance to Payment of Import and Statutory export documents/duty payment to Nigeria Customs.

Also, last week, there was a statement from the airline in Receivership claiming that it has removed another aircraft, a CRJ 1000 registered as 5N-JEE from its fleet on a decision that the aircraft owners JEM Leasing decided  to sell and /or tear down the aircraft.

This, however,  did not go down well with owners aircraft who refuted the claims stressing that  Arik Air is the launch customer and only operator of the CRJ 1000 in Africa and that JEM Leasing is not party to any arrangement with “Arik Air In Receivership” for the tear down of the aircraft. READ ALSO: Sir Arumemi Ikhide gets judgement as Court gives AMCON 14 days to render Arik Air’s accounts since 2017 take-over

The inspection of Arik facilities by the anti-graft agency revealed that the airline in Receivership had commenced the process to tear down and cannibalize CRJ 1000 (5N EE)- this led owner-lessor  JEM Leasing to issue a disclaimer, calling for criminal investigation.

Another  CRJ900( 5N JEB) formerly under the Arik fleet  was learnt  sold to AvMax by the receiver manager, the plane is with AvMax a Canadian operator in Toronto

So far, it has been found that  of 22 aircraft operated by Arik before the advent of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria ( AMCON) only two (2) remain in six years as the airline’s hangar is now a static display of abandoned new generation aircraft.

The abandoned Arik-owned aircraft fleet on the tarmac, gave reason for the Receivership management to resort to leasing of older aircraft from eastern Europe, thus it was learnt that it paid an European lessor, Olympus Airways about N100m signed in 2019 and paid for  since 11th February 2020 and up till today: no aircraft was supplied and no refund made by the lessor.

Equally uncovered during the inspection, was a depleted Arik Air spare parts inventory of over $150m.

It was also learnt that management on Receivership are on humongous salaries structures that belie the airline’s current realities which cannot be supported by operations.

Recall that  on the 11th April 2023, Receiver Manager of Arik Air in Receivership, Kamilu Alaba Omokhide  barred the airline Chairman/Founder of the airline, Sir Johnson Arumemi Ikhide unfettered access to the company despite an April 1, 2023 Court order  that the first and second defendants Kamilu Alaba Omokhide and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria ( AMCON) had 14 days to grant access to the founder and ensure those accounts were rendered 

NigerianFLIGHTDECK learnt that the EFCC interviewed the founder of the airline, Sir JIA Arumemi, following the inspection of the airline facility while Kamilu Omokide, at the time of this report shunned EFCC invitation to Arik facility.

Receivership CEO, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, it was learnt, visits the office sparingly and is currently  on a 2-month vacation in America.

Also recall in 2017 Court appointed independent Receiver Manager, Oluseye Opasanya SAN resigned and left the airline under unclear circumstances in 2019 and thereafter AMCON appointed its own staff as Receiver Manager, Kamilu Alaba Omokide in 2019.

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