23 May 2019

Nigeria: Drug Trafficking - Airports' Scanners Not Functioning Well - Buhari's Aide

Photo: Calabar airport
Calabar airport

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, says scanners at some Nigerian Airports are not working optimally.

The official made this known before the ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate to look into circumstances that led to the arrest of Zainab Aliyu in Saudi Arabia in December 2018, over planting of a banned drug, Tramadol, in her luggage .

The committee was headed by Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano).

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, who is also Chairman designate of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NDC), alleged that some foreign airlines were running drug cartels in connivance with some Nigerians at international airports across the country.

"They operate alongside local collaborators. It is not Air Peace, not Arik Air," she said .

Meanwhile, the Airport Chief of Security of the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), El-Yakub Lamir, disclosed that scanners at the Aminu Kano International Airport in particular, were not configured to detect drugs.

He said that there were 15 security agents involved in checking luggages at the point of entry and exit but that they had been reduced in number due to public complaints.

In his remarks, Mr Gaya, charged the officials of NDLEA to increase the number of sniffer dogs in all the international airports across the country to a significant figure to help detect drugs.

He further called on officials of FAAN to upgrade the scanner at the airports to detect drugs.

He commended Ms Aliyu's father for providing information on her arrest.

He assured that, as soon as the committee was done with its investigations, it would submit a report to the Senate before the end of the 8th National Assembly.

The Senate had mandated the adhoc committee to investigate alleged planting of banned drug in Ms Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar's bags, which led to their arrests in Saudi Arabia, for which she was detained for four months.

They were both let off when the Nigerian Government was able to establish that the drugs were planted in their bags by a drug cartel at the Aminu Kano International Airport where they boarded for Saudi Arabia.

Ms Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, and Ibrahim Abubakar, were arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking.

Ms Aliyu was arrested in December 2018 at the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina.(NAN)

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