Africa: FAAN Suspends AVSEC Personnel Over Security Breach At MMIA
Following the unfortunate airside incursion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has suspended indefinitely the Aviation Security unit heads who were on duty when the incident occurred, pending completion of ongoing investigation into the regrettable security infringement.
According to a release by the airport authority, the affected officers are the Airport Chief of Security, Mamman Mohammed Sadiku, International Terminal Security Officer, Oni Adedamola Abiodun, Head of Department Domestic Terminal 2, Owotor Kenneth Okezie and Head of Department Domestic Terminal 1, Badejo Adebowale Ayodele.
It said the General Manager of the Authority, Dr. Anne Enyinnaya-Egbadon, has been detailed to take charge of security at the airport adding that other affected officers have also been replaced.
It stated that the current arrangement is aimed at ensuring an efficient and thorough investigation towards the recovery and sustenance of the airport’s proactive security integrity.
“FAAN views this breach as a serious security concern and has commenced investigation to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of this incident to forestall future occurrence.”
Earlier, there was mild drama at the Lagos airport as Aviation Security personnel apprehended an intruder who tried to gain access into an Azman aircraft waiting for clearance from Air Traffic Controllers.
The aircraft with registration number 5N-HAI was about departing Lagos to Port Harcourt when the pilot reported the incident to AVSEC officials who swiftly responded.
A passenger of the Azman aircraft, who alerted the public via a video post on social media handle, otto_orondaam, said “ For 30 minutes we have been stuck at the runway at MMA by an unidentified man who ran to the aircraft with a bag, security has not showed up and everyone is panicking. I have so many questions to ask but right now I can’t even breathe.”
He said: “Our aircraft was taxing on the runway and about taking off when this man showed up running towards the moving aircraft from the bush. The pilot and few passengers spotted him running towards the aircraft and immediately slowed down and quickly put off the engine. The man approaches the plane with gloves and started walking around and under the aircraft holding a bag which he dropped inside the engine.”
In the video posted online, the man could be seen on top of the aircraft trying to gain access into the plane. He insisted that he wanted to travel to Ghana with the taxing plane, but the airline only operates domestic flight operation in Nigeria.
According to the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs.
Henrietta Yakubu said the aircraft taxied back to the apron for a thorough check and has departed for Port Harcourt.
The airport authority has since commenced investigation into the security breach to certain how the man gained access into the restricted area.
According to information available to atqnews.com, the airport authority maybe taking disciplinary actions on some its officials over the incident.
Meanwhile, the airlines in a press statement said: “One of our aircraft with registration number 5N-HAI was holding for take-off at the domestic wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja, Lagos when the pilot in command sighted an unidentified person on the tarmac walking towards the aircraft. He radioed the tower to intimate them of his observation immediately.
“The captain further took a pre-emptive effort to shut down the engine as the same person was noticed wandering around the aircraft and later he was seen climbing the part of the aircraft in an attempt to gain access to the cabin.
“The airport security approached the individual, arrested him and he has since been remanded for further interrogation. Our aircraft was taxied back to the Gate where all passengers were disembarked. The aircraft and the luggage were thoroughly scrutinized and the same was certified to fly”.