Friday, September 4

Why kerosene-for-aviation fuel scandal must be probed – Keyamo

Lagos-based lawyer, Festus Keyamo, on Friday demanded an immediate probe of the allegation that household kerosene was distributed as aviation fuel by some oil marketers with a consequential danger to human lives.

“On Thursday, September 3, 2015, the media was awash with a scary story of how some unscrupulous oil marketers now sell household kerosene as aviation fuel all in a bid to make astronomical and criminal profit at the expense of thousands of human life.

“This exposé, if found to be true, can best be described as the height of man’s inhumanity to man,” Keyamo said in a statement made available to newsmen.

Keyamo quoted reports as saying that some oil marketers in Nigeria now substitute household kerosene, HHK, for jet A1 (aviation fuel) which is believed to be one of the causes of the plane crashes the country had experienced recently.

Two helicopter crashes have occurred in recent times, one in Lagos and the other in Kaduna.

“The reports also have it that the said kerosene is sold by the PPMC at the ex-depot and regulated price of N40.90 per litre with the objective of reselling to the average Nigerians at the pump price of N50.00 per litre.

“However, given the fact that the said HHK share some physical and chemical properties with Jet A1 aviation fuel, some marketers have resorted to diverting it to the aviation industry and now sell it to both local and international airline operators in place of aviation fuel at the rate of N140 per litre.

“The dangerous implications of the use of household kerosene (HHK) as aviation fuel are listed to include the following: significant damage to the aircraft and engine, fuel system corrosion, clogging of fuel filtration components, failure of aircraft fuel system instrumentation and stopping of the fuel supply to the engine during flight.

“In effect, the use of HHK as aviation fuel portends a serious and grievous threat to the flying public,” he said.

Saying this was a clarion call for President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a high-level inquiry to investigate the nefarious activities of these oil marketers and airlines that engage in the dastardly act, Keyamo said such investigation would help to ensure safety of lives and properties in the aviation industry.

“Your Excellency, I most humbly urge you to continue to remain firm and resolute in your resolve to fight corruption and impunity in all facets of our national life.

“It would appear that the oil industry in Nigeria stinks to high heavens and the earlier you descend on it with the full weight of the law, the better for all of us,” Keyamo said.

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