Falana condemns use of presidential jet by Buhari’s daughter


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has described the use of Presidential jet by children of President Muhammadu Buhari for private social functions, as illegal.

Speaking to newsmen over the weekend, Falana said the children of the President have no right to convert the Presidential jet to personal use.

He, therefore, berated the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, for saying all members of the first family had the right to use the Presidential jet for private engagements.

Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, had come under fire for using the Presidential jet to attend an event in Bauchi State last week, where she was invited to take pictures and make a catalogue of Bauchi arts and culture as part of her pet project.

In reaction to criticisms, the President’s spokesman admitted that Hannan had flown on the presidential jet, but insisted that it was a normal practice.

“The normal practice in existence for a long time is that the presidential air fleet is available to the president and the first family and four others. These four are the vice-president, the senate president the speaker and any other person authorised by the president,” Shehu had said.

But in a statement on Sunday, however, Falana described the use of the Presidential jet for personal use as an abuse of office, and privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.

“The so called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy,” he said.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on President Buhari to stop the members of his family from using any of the aircraft in the presidential fleet “with a view to cutting down on waste”.

“A country that is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.”

The senior advocate also asked the Presidency to apologise to Nigerians rather than justify the act.

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