Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa, ex-National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi (retd.); and four others died in the crash.
The aircraft had been shuttling between Okoroba and Port Harcourt, carrying guests to and fro the venue of the burial of the father of President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide, Oronto Douglas, in Okoroba.
“The helicopter was made available for the use of guests at the funeral. One thing I can say is that it was going on its 15th trip when it crashed. I cannot say whether this could affect the performance of the helicopter,” the naval source said.
The source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the incident, also confided in one of our correspondents that investigators would also look into the possibility that the aircraft had been “overstretched” for the day.
But, the Nigerian Navy, at a press conference on Monday, said that the helicopter was air- worthy.
Spokesman for the Navy at the press conference, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor, said the crashed helicopter had more than 80 flight hours before its next scheduled routine maintenance.