I'm not sure if he ever had a plane in Kaduna. He is the Governor of Taraba state, Jalingo is the airport there, East of Abuja, south of Gombe. His Caravan he had just purchased not long ago. Word on the street here is he was flying to Yola, reported 35 miles or so, and then shortly after reported field in sight. There is a cement factory, or some kind of factory around 30 miles west of Yola airport and mistakenly took that for the airport (this was at night) and might have lined up and tried to land there. Again, this is just rumor, but either way its really sad, one of the Nicest Governors in Nigeria.
Yola does have a VOR, and they also have an ILS into there, its also an airport that you may do night landings at if you pay the $$$ and as we all know Governors can pull weight. Its Nigeria, 419d is how they play here remember?
Disclaimer, again, I don't know how much water the story holds, even though it came from one of his aids. First reports also stated he had died in the crash so take it for what its worth.
Yola Airport has deteriorated night landing facilities. The Runway lighting system had a system of being problematic. Due to numerous safety reports by crews, the system is NOTAMed U/S and the airport is now limited to daylight operations. Of course, in typical Nigerian style some crews will sneak in "after hours". The same situation exists in Benin and Calabar. The runway lighting upgrade in Owerri has been going on for years, in fact it has been 90 % complete for years so its still limited to daylight . The lights in Ilorin are also horendous. Also a lot of airports have deteriorated lighting conditions due to overgrown grass, its not unusual for runway lights to disappear in the flare. Also in some airports the light can be so dim that the surrounding lighting is much brighter.
Sadly it's true that crew head into Yola at night knowing fully well the kind of problems that exist there.
Flew into Yola as a passenger in 2006. Few seconds after touchdown, all runway lights went off..as well as part of the airport lights (power outage I presume). Few years later, flew in there again with the "largest airline in Nigeria". The flight from Lagos to Yola via Abuja usually landed at night (on some occasions in really nasty weather/visibility). The icing on the cake was the one flight I was on that had been delayed 4 hours in Lagos and still pushed on to Yola knowing fully well this airport had problems with the lights at night. Get to Yola and the captain sees no runway lights, elects to return to Abuja....arrives in Abuja and tells the passengers "the lights in Yola are back on, we're heading back". This flight was already 4 hours overdue and if my memory serves me well, we arrived back in Abuja at 11:15 pm. Not much of a shocker considering the way the airline operates at times. Needless to say there were passengers yelling at the top of their voices...can't blame them.
P.S To the best of my knowledge, Yola airport is the first airport in Nigeria. You'd think it'd at least get a decent makeover considering the increased passenger traffic there in recent years. The state of the airport as of the last time I was there in 2011 is an apology....but then again I've been told there are worse around the country.