FAAN speaks on alleged robbery of taxiing aircraft

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, on Wednesday debunked allegations of theft at the airport as baseless and impossible.

FAAN was reacting to allegations of poaching of aircraft and stealing of baggage at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Earlier on Tuesday, a private jet purportedly conveying two top Nigerian musical artists, Ayodeji Balogun aka “Wizkid” and Tiwa Savage from Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, was allegedly attacked and robbed while taxiing on Lagos airport’s runway.

The Bombardier Challenger 605 jet with registration number T7-A00 arrived Lagos from Uyo at about 8:33 p.mm and was slowly taxiing to the arrival hangar when the cargo compartment was allegedly burgled.

Reports said upon arrival at Quits Aviation Center, a private jet hangar, the pilot discovered that two bags belonging to Ms. Savage and Wizkid had allegedly been stolen.

Amidst allegations of poaching of aircraft and stealing of baggage at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, FAAN said such allegations as baseless and practically impossible.

While Wizkid has remained mute about the incident, Tiwa took to social media to vent her frustration.

The incident is coming shortly after another alleged theft of passengers’ property occurred at the airport.

SaharaReporters had reported that a Vistajet jet with the registration number 9H-VFA operated by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd was allegedly robbed on December 12 when taxiing to the hangar of EAN.

The jet was reportedly arriving from Istanbul and the robbery allegedly took place after landing in Lagos when a black bag belonging to a flight attendant was reportedly stolen from the incident.

But the airport authorities in its release stated that it is not possible for anyone to burgle an aircraft in motion. FAAN said because aircraft are highly technical machines, it is practically impossible for anyone who does not have the requisite training and competence to operate or tamper with the baggage compartment.

Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN spokesperson, in a statement Wednesday evening, said that in both instances of alleged theft, preliminary findings from investigations conducted by an inter-agency committee set up to probe the allegations could not substantiate the claims.

“The purported victims in the said cases also did not make themselves available for questioning, in the quest to unravel the case,” Mrs. Yakubu said.

“Although investigations are still on going, FAAN will like to reassure travellers and the general public that with the level of safety and security systems on ground at the airports, it is practically impossible for an aircraft to be burgled within our Runways and Aprons.”


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