Rivers Withdraws Charges against Caverton Helicopter Pilots, Passengers


By Ernest Chinwo

Rivers State Government has withdrawn the charges it preferred against two pilots of Caverton Helicopters Ltd: Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, and their 10 passengers before the Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate’s Court.

The State Government had arrested the pilots and their passengers in the wake of the imposition of restrictions of movements and closure of the state borders to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, an action that drew national attention.

They were subsequently arraigned before a Chief magistrate’s court on April 7 and remanded in custody, for allegedly intentionally disobeying the Executive Order issued by the Rivers State Governor aimed at checking the spread of coronavirus in the state.

The Chief Magistrate Court, presided over by D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi Esq, on April 14 granted the two pilots and their passengers bail.

On the resumption of the matter Tuesday, the Rivers State Government, through the Honourable Attorney General, Professor Zaccheus Adangor, withdrew the case.

A statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, stated that the state had withdrawn and discontinued the two separate charges: PMC/532C/2020 and PMC/533C/2020 preferred against the two pilots of Caverton Helicopters Ltd and the 10 passengers on board before the Port Harcourt Chief Magistrates’ Court.

“Consequently, the presiding Chief Magistrate, D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi Esq; has struck out the two charges and discharged all the defendants,” he stated.