A military officer at the defence headquarters said “important personalities and other civilians can be transported using military helicopters after permission is obtained from the President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces.”
The crashed chopper was procured in 2005 for search and rescue, surveillance, airlift of troops and civilians and other related assignments.
The helicopter alongside others recently conducted a major fleet evaluation exercise code named exercise Farauta between November 11 and 17 in the Niger Delta area.
The helicopter was said to have been imperfect before its last trip due to excess flights but a naval officer in Abuja said it was certified fit and that “all naval helicopters are routinely serviced.”
Meanwhile the naval headquarters said its rescue personnel at the crash scene have recovered the bodies of the victims.
Navy’s Director of Information Commodore Kabir Aliyu said “the Nigerian Navy wishes to confirm that search and rescue effort has led to the recovery of all the 4 passengers and the 2 pilots on board its helicopter, NN 07 which crashed on 15 December 2012.”