|Pastor Oritsejafor and President Jonathan|
Following the interception of an Israeli citizen and two Nigerians who attempted to smuggle $9.3 million cash into Nigeria by authorities in South Africa and the subsequent seizure of the money by South African Revenue Service (SARS) from a private jet arriving at Lanseria airport in Johannesburg on September 5th, Sahara Reporters uncovered a connection between the smuggled money and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
According to an investigation carried out by the online portal, the pastor’s private plane, which he got as a birthday gift few years back with US registration number, N808HG was among the two jets cited by South African security officials on September 5. The report claims that the jet landed in South Africa with $9.3 million cash loaded in several suitcases.
Reacting to the report, Ayo Oritsejafor in a statement sent to media houses today, dissociated himself from the operation of an aircraft, Bombardier Challenger 600. Oritsejafor’s personal assistant, Bayo Adewoye, said that his boss does not operate the aircraft, adding that inquiries on its current state should be directed to the company it had been leased to.
“The Word of Life Bible Church has been made aware of the recent media interest regarding an aircraft (Bombardier Challenger 600, Registration No N808HG) owned by Eagle Air Company in which our Pastor, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, holds a residual interest.
“On behalf of Pastor Oritsejafor, we can confirm that although he holds an interest in Eagle Air, the aircraft in question is not operated by Pastor Oritsejafor.
The aircraft owned by Eagle Air Company, who have confirmed that since August 2, 2014, the aircraft has been leased to and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited. This is a standard practice in the industry.
“Any and all enquiries in respect of the day-to-day operations of this aircraft should be properly directed to the management of Green Coast Produce Limited. We will be happy to help the authorities with any enquiries,” Adewoye said.