The man who prevented an Azman Aircraft from taking off on Friday at the Murtala International Airport, Lagos after jumping on its engine, came from Niger Republic, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said.
Passengers onboard the Port Harcourt-bound flight panicked after the man, identified as Usman Adamu, was spotted walking on one of the wings of the commercial aircraft as it prepared for takeoff.
A short video showing the man on top the wing of the airplane went viral on the social media and was repeatedly played back by international media.
He had attempted to gain access into the plane's cabin, forcing the Pilot-in-Command to switch off the engine, it was gathered.
FAAN general manager, Public Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed his identity yesterday even as Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the suspect was arrested five days earlier for intruding on the airport.
Also, the Managing Director, FAAN, Capt. Rabi'u Hamisu Yadudu, while briefing the press at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano said the suspect was apprehended within the airport premises by FAAN aviation security on patrol five days earlier.
The MD said: "It is noteworthy that this same suspect was apprehended by FAAN aviation security patrol around 22:00hours on the night of Sunday, the 14th July 2019 within the airport premises. His profile pictures were taken and he was subsequently evacuated out of the airport to a very far location in accordance with our standard procedure," he said.
Capt. Yadudu described the incident as "embarrassing, and a serious safety and security breach."
"It is unfortunate, embarrassing and a serious safety and security breach. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria takes full responsibility for this incident and remains committed to our core values of safety, security and comfort of our passengers.
"We do understand that the security wheel is ever revolving with new and emerging threats daily and we have been working with all our stakeholders and regulatory agency (NCAA) in addressing our security challenges," he said.
He said that FAAN had taken up the challenge posed by the incident and would act accordingly by scaling-up and upgrading its security architecture to ensure that safety of travellers was guaranteed.
A source who spoke with our correspondent in Lagos said the suspect was undergoing interrogation. Part of the investigation, it was gathered, would be to ascertain his mental state.
The source said, "There are very clear indications that the man is mentally deranged. He is behaving strangely as I am talking to you. But we don't want to take things for granted, we are subjecting him to mental examination and the report should be out by Monday."
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the suspect was transferred from the airport Tango City, a small cell where unruly passengers are kept, to the Lagos Airport Police Command headquarters at Beesam along the International Airport road.
Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, Mr. Joseph Alabi, also confirmed that the suspect had been handed over to the command and that investigation was ongoing.
FAAN has suspended four senior security heads, pending the outcome of investigation into the breach.