By LOUIS IBA
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it has caught an airline passenger with a pistol in his luggage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. Yakubu Dati, spokesperson for FAAN, said the passenger originally commenced his flight into Nigeria from the city of Maryland before connecting the Nigerian bound airplane from Atlanta Georgia, USA.
He said the passenger arrived MMA about 4.00pm last week aboard Delta Airlines. Dati said the passenger claimed that the gun was brought in from the USA for his personal protection while in Nigeria, stressing that he also claimed to have declared the gun to the airline before checking in his checking luggage at the airport of departure.
“The pistol did not pose any threat to any passenger at the time of seizure. Aviation Security personnel of the Authority have continued to work hand in hand with other security agents to ensure the security of lives and property at all the airports nationwide, in line with the Transformation agenda of the government in the aviation industry. In a related development, another passenger who checked in on an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt at the weekend was apprehended by Aviation Security (AVSEC) officers at the MMA2 terminal for possessing firearms.
The pistol was discovered in his checked –in luggage. The passenger said he bought the pistol from the United States for personal protection during his holiday in Aba, Abia State where he would spend his holiday. The passenger tendered the receipt for the purchase of the gun but has since been handed over to the security agents for further investigation.
In another case of increased alertness by FAAN’s Security personnel, two Hungarian citizens, Miss Szabone Balatoni Hajnalka and Miss Porge Szabina were apprehended by intelligence officers in the Directorate of Aviation Security last week on their arrival on a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight from London. The two passengers, who did not appear to have any genuine reason for being in the country, were later handed over, with their Nigerian accomplice, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further investigations.