The government of Akwa Ibom State has confirmed that Godswill Akpabio like his Rivers State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, also owns a brand new jet.
Akpabio took possession of the $45 million jet in June 2012.
Responding to SaharaReporters inquiries, Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Ummanah, confirmed that Mr. Akpabio bought the Gulfstream jet manufactured in 2011, but insisted that that it is Akwa Ibom State property.
As already published by SaharaReporters, Governor Amaechi’s gleaming new toy is a Bombardier Global 5000 (N565RS), which he acquired for his exclusive use.
Governor Akpabio’s state of the art jet, which carries FAA registration number N224BH, was interestingly purchased by the same Bank of Utah Trust account used by the Rivers state government. The deal was handled by a trust attorney at the bank and delivered to Mr. Akpabio.
Records show that Governor Akpabio, whose deputy resigned yesterday, has travelled abroad in the jet regularly, especially to and within the United States, since the acquisition.
It would be recalled that one week ago in Yola, Adamawa State, Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State crashed a Cessna 208, 5N-BMJ, he was flying personally at the time. He has since been airlifted to Germany for treatment, his injured passengers left in a local hospital.
These expensive jet-buying and flying stories concerning Nigeria state governors provide greater proof of muddled priorities, and sometimes, outright corruption, in the administration of the States, where the chief executives and their inner circles live in insensitive luxury despite the despicable general condition of the average citizen. When they get off their jets, they usually have waiting for them all kinds of exotic cars and long convoys.
Sources told SaharaReporters that Mr. Suntai, an aviation enthusiast, owns two aircraft and a helicopter. Aviation sources also said he also owns an airstrip in his village which he built with embezzled state funds.
Governor Akpabio’s new jet puts him squarely among Nigeria’s new jet set of top government officials, connected businessmen and lavish-spending pastors, among whom luxury private jets are the new status symbol.