Airport security personnel on Wednesday in Lagos arrested a middle-aged man, Alabibu Olushola, who breached security at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, in an apparent attempt to attack a Maiduguri-bound Med-View plane.
An eyewitness who simply identified himself as Yinka said the suspect was first attacked with jet blast from the aircraft by the Captain of the airline, who suddenly discovered that someone was moving closer to his aircraft when passengers who were observing the unusual movement raised the alarm.
Confirming the incident, Med-View Airline Media Consultant, Mr Obuke Oyibotha, said in a statement that the Maiduguri-bound aircraft was taxiing to the threshold for take-off when the pilot sighted a man on the active runway.
It said while the plane was still taxiing, the pilot noticed that the suspect crossed to the threshold and was moving towards the aircraft, and had to alert the control tower about his observation and requested for aviation security personnel.
“The man got entangled with the engine thrust and the pilot increased the speed of the engine before he was picked up by security agents.
“The pilot asked for permission to return to base where security agencies, including Bomb Disposal Squad conducted a thorough check on all passengers, luggage and the entire aircraft before appropriate clearance was given,” the statement added.
Also confirming the incident, Mr Yakubu Datti, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Yakubu Dati, said in a statement that the airport’s vigilant security personnel arrested the suspect.
“The suspect was arrested as soon as he scaled the perimeter fence near the moving aircraft and after interrogation by Avsec staff he was immediately handed over to the police for further interrogation.
“These areas are prohibited for unauthorised people, including airport staff, who have no business being there. This is more so in view of the present security situation in the country,’’ Datti said.