Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Who owns this plane?
Saharareporters investigators contacted Bombardier
Aerospace office in Canada, but the aircraft
manufacturers refused to reveal the identity of the
private individual who purchased the Bombardier
Challenger 300 business jet. Nor would they disclose
the date of manufacture or delivery. The Challenger
300 seats 8 passengers, and often costs more than $20
million. Sources in Nigeria said Sawoe Dantata
purchased the jet for Obasanjo.
After the initial eyebrows raised by the jet, Obasanjo
seems to have decided to abandon it until things calm
down a bit. On his three-day trip to Tanzania on July
11, Obasanjo flew in Aliko Dangote's Hawker Siddelley
(HS) jet. The jet had just returned from a
comprehensive check. The HS jet with registration
number 5N DGN took Obasanjo to Tanzania where, one
source told us, he continues to look for ways to boost
his international relevance having been isolated as a
pariah by his erstwhile Western friends, he quietly returned to Nigeria on Saturday night, again unheralded.
The Bombardier Challenger 300 jet with registration number 3B-SSD suddenly flew in from Kano on Sunday money bearing Dangote. A source told Saharareporters that Obasanjo is playing hide and seek with the jet, for now it is part of the illegal pool of jets designated as the "Executive Jet Services" pool which uses the AOC belonging to EAS.
“Obasanjo is desperate to be embraced again by the
U.S. as well as British and European leaders,” said a
political scientist who lectures at the University of
Lagos. “But he realizes that he is bad news in the
capitals of Europe and North America. For now, he’s
making do with short forays into African and Caribbean
nations, but there’s no question he feels pained that
his western sponsors now treat him like an outlaw on
furlough. He’s waiting for the dust to clear, and for
him to be welcomed again in Washington, DC or London.”