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Bomb scare at Lagos Airport: Man arrested with explosives

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on 2006/11/20 | Views: 1026 |

Bomb scare at Lagos Airport: Man arrested with explosives


An attempt to smuggle explosives on board an Abuja bound Bellview Airline flight by a middle aged man, suspected of intent to blow up the aircraft, was foiled by eagle-eyed Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security operatives and officials of the carrier at the weekend.

An attempt to smuggle explosives on board an Abuja bound Bellview Airline flight by a middle aged man, suspected of intent to blow up the aircraft, was foiled by eagle-eyed Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security operatives and officials of the carrier at the weekend.

The suspect, Michael Dickson, reportedly concealed the explosives, said to weigh over five kilogrammes in a microphone inside a luggage he checked in as an accompanied baggage.
Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who briefed journalists Sunday on the incident said the suspect planned to drop the explosives on the plane, while he himself would leave the scene and not get aboard.

The Minister commended the officials who intercepted the evil burden “for saving us another disaster.”

Fani-Kayode who was flanked by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, Managing Director of FAAN, Alhaji Mohammad Yusuf, Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Roland Iyayi and the Commissioner, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, Mr. Julian Okpaleke, explained that the suspect lied on the content of the package when he was intercepted.

His words: “Before the individual was apprehended, on being questioned about the content of the cylinders, he could not say the truth, he refused to open them. They now forcefully opened them and the security operatives found what they found. When he was questioned further, he gave an answer which didn’t make sense, because whatever the case, whether these explosives were put there as a design to blow up and kill Nigerians, or whether they were there to be flown to Abuja for mysterious purpose, those causes of action you will completely agree with me are illegal, and if there was no criminal intent, why would he have lied? And why is it that the person who he claimed gave him this material to go and pass on the flight himself chose not to go to the airport at all, but rather chose to go to Abuja by road. We are still looking for that person and by the special grace of God, we will catch him”.

The Minister reiterated that the men of the State Security Services (SSS), the Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have already been invited into the matter.

He described the event which happened on Saturday as one that should not dampen the spirit of Nigerians, but a day of victory.

He, however, called on the nation’s security services at the airports and land borders to beef up security at the area.

Fani- Kayode disclosed that his Ministry would re-open the investigation on Bellview crash of last year, adding that he was not satisfied with the preliminary report on the accident.
Said he “We are going to invite the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States to begin investigation all over again to enable us really know what went wrong to remedy the problems. If anybody is culpable, we will take it up. I will seek the approval of the President to overhaul the Accident Investigation Prevention Bureau (AIPB), inject foreigners into the system.”

The Managing Director of Bellview Airlines, Mr. Kayode Odukoya thanked the Minister and FAAN for their spontaneous reaction, adding that the event was the result of reforms going on in the aviation sector.
As a result of the incident, Daily Sun learnt that security has been beefed up in all the country’s airports.

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