Vanguard (Lagos)

30 April 2010

Nigeria: Woman Breaches Security At Lagos Airport

Lagos — The Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, has again suffered a security breach, as a woman sneaked through a private terminal to board an Abuja-bound Aero Contractor flight without a ticket.

It was learnt that the breach has compelled security agencies at the airport to stop most of the charter operators using the terminal from operating therefrom.

A source told Vanguard that the woman, who is currently being held by Air Force Police, was said to have walked by the new terminal of the airport (MMA2) last week, moved through the Air Force-guarded hangar housing the NAFIS Unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and Kings Air, to gain access to the air side and MMA2 tarmac.

Having accessed the tarmac, the woman headed for the Abuja-bound plane and boarded.

It took the alertness of the airlines' ground staff at the tarmac to apprehend the woman and her handed over to airport security personnel, who immediately alerted Nigerian Air Force personnel at the private terminal.

The action of the woman is said to have resulted in the closure of the hangar and termination of operations of charter operators flying from the private terminal.

Staff of the NAFIS Unit of NCAA are said to be having problems accessing their offices since the incident happened last week.

VIPs who patronise charter operators have had to now shift their movement to the Presidential Wing of the airport where airplanes of the operators are taken to for their flight.

Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was reportedly caught in the shut down of the private terminal last Sunday and had to fly out through the presidential wing.

Alhaji Atiku has not, since leaving office in 2007, flown through the presidential wing of the airport.

Former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu and Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, are among the personalities who have in the past week relied on the presidential wing to embark on their trips into and outside Lagos.

Vanguard also observed yesterday that most of the pilots whose operations revolve around the shut private terminal now use the car park of the presidential wing for their parking purposes, just as staff of Kings Air and NCAA's NAFIS Unit now use the entrance leading to the fire department of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to access their offices via the air side.

FAAN's General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Akin Olukunle, told Vanguard on the telephone that he heard about the incident, but claimed not to have the details.

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