Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ayo Oritsejafor Admits He Owns Private Jet Used To Smuggle $9.3Million Into South Africa For Arms

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News broke over the weekend that authorities in South Africa had intercepted an Israeli citizen and two Nigerians who attempted to smuggle $9.3 million cash into the country.

The money was seized by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) from a private jet arriving at Lanseria airport in Johannesburg on September 5th. It was alleged that the money was meant for arms, and subsequntly, the case was to be investigated by the police.

Now, Sahara Reporters have uncovered a connection between the smuggled money and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

Anyone remember the uproar when he got the plane, and the questions on how he could afford it? This might be our answer. Read on...


...a Nigerian private jet caught in Johannesburg with $10 million belongs to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the head of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Mr. Oritsejafor is also a close confidant of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The CAN leader’s private plane with US registration number N808HG was one of two jets cited by South African officials on September 5 Mr. Oritsejafor's jet arrived South Africa with $9.3 million cash loaded in several suitcases. News of the seizure of the cash broke over the weekend, triggering questions about the ownership of the jets and weapons they intended to purchase.

Nigerian aviation authorities disclosed that one of the jets belonged to Pastor Oritsejafor while the second one was registered to Felix Idiga, the owner of Jafac Aviation Limited.

Two Nigerians and an Israeli defense contractor, Eyal Mesiaka arrived in the jet when they were accosted in South Africa authorities. A South African source disclosed that Mr. Oritsejafor's jet was released after top Nigerian officials intervened, claiming that the weapons to be purchased had the official blessing of the Nigerian government. The jet arrived with two plastic suitcases and two hand luggages with combination locks only known to the Isreali contractor, according to CityPress

Earlier today, SaharaReporters rang the mobile telephone number of Mr. Idiga. At first, he pretended and claimed that he was the Aide De camp to Mr. Idiga. But when our correspondent identified himself as a reporter from SaharaReporters, he owned he started answering questions relating to the issues but claimed the jet we published on our site wasn’t his own. Asked if he knew of another private jet named in apparent arms buy in South Africa, he asked where we got our information after we read the jet registration number to him. He then denied that his jet was involved, before hastily hanging up the phone.

Though Sahara Reporters were not able to reach Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for comments, the man of God has admitted the jet was his in a statement released today. Pastor Oritsejafor however said he had leased the jet to another company so had no control over the use of the jet. The statement from his church read;

"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 was leased to, and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited since August 2.”

On their part, Green Coast Produce Limited released a statement saying that the aircraft was hired by one John Ishyaku and therefore they can't be liable for any alleged infractions either in Nigeria or South Africa after the hire.

“On the 5th of September 2014 the aircraft was hired from us by a John Ishyaku. The charter to John Ishyaku was upon the following documented terms: (a) Depart Abuja-Johannesburg on the 5th of September 2014 (b) Return to Abuja on the 6th of September 2014 (c) To wait and return with the passengers. All cargoes were accompanied by passenger who could readily defend the contents. We are not and cannot be privy to any alleged extraneous cargo transported on the aircraft other than that declared in the agreed terms of hire. We are not liable and cannot be construed as a party to any alleged infractions, either in Nigeria or South Africa as he case may be, after the hire of the aircraft."








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