Home Uncategorized Aircraft Poaching: AVSEC Indicts VIPs, Accuses Them of Blackmail

Aircraft Poaching: AVSEC Indicts VIPs, Accuses Them of Blackmail

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Chief of security,MMIA, Mammam Sadiku

…..say Lagos humidity can trigger cargo hold light on dashboard

Chief Security Officer of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Sadiku Mamman has opened up on the likely cause of frequent burglary of aircraft load compartments which has been on the increase in recent times.

At a question and answer session at its recently held Security lecture 2017 in Lagos, Mamman said that the aircraft poaching, an act that was alien to the airport became common immediately after they took a second look at the entire airport security system after October last year.

He therefore, emphasised that the frequent cases of aircraft poaching may not have have been unconnected with certain persons because the security agencies at the airport have adopted and started a system that they can no longer breach.

The airport chief pointed out that the frequent incidents of burglary came on the increase as soon as some drastic measures were taken against VIPs as it regards security breach at the airport.

He said “I remember before this, we have not had all these and as at October last year. On the basis of national security, that all of us stand here, there was a document that came. That document requested us to address a lot of challenges and on the basis of that, the entire airport security system decided to sit down and take a look at it and we have to rise up to the occasion by writing, which to a larger extent is not favorable to some people”.

“Why Lagos? Because we have started a system that they can no longer breach, I may not be able to tell you more than this but let’s just end here. We have equally put some security measures on ground, I will not tell you and the security agencies, all of us are working, it’s not the issues of been divided, we are all united and we are all working and we are rejigging our operations at the airport”, he added

Mamman lamented that whenever such incidents occur, people are always in a hurry to rush to the press without trying to find out why it actually happened.

“All l these ones have been right from 12, 26 till January till the last 4-5 days, it has always been that people rush to the press”, he said.

Mamman who is seriously worried why the incidents are more prevalent in Lagos airport complained that some people are given preferential treatments whenever they are coming into this country and that nobody asks them what they entered the country with.

“Flight will park, a big man will just go out and when you are going, security agencies are not allowed to do their job you can only peep and go back; so with that, we rise to the occasion and we have to challenge all those powers, the next thing we saw because I was given an intelligence report, that they would come back, and that they will follow us”, Mamman narrated.

Warning that security agencies should be prepared for blackmail the security chief stated that they have equally put some security measures on ground and that all of them are working with unity, just as he informed that they are also rejigging their operations at the airport.

He explained another incident involving World African Airways, AWA “The AirPeace incident after that was AWA. AWA left the ramp about 20 minutes past 6 taxing out and getting to the holding point almost 6.30 pm because we track it down from the CCTV system within few seconds, he made call to the tower that he observed from the dash board indicator that their baggage compartment is opened, he decided on his own to come down for safety and security to cross check, the aircraft was received and escorted back to the Tarmac to D34 where it actually parked and we observed the baggage compartment open, I talked at length with the pilot, he told me and that on the basis of that, that he wanted to find out what went wrong and the first assignment we had was to evacuate the passengers and the EOD’s were invited and they all turned up as quickly as possible, they went into the interiors and sterilize, not was found, they went into the baggage compartment because they off loaded everything, nothing found and what then did we do, is to ask each of the passengers that checked in their bags to cross match, nothing missing”.

Another security expert and the Head of MMIA Terminal Security, Oni Adedamola said that their discoveries after investigation of the first poaching incident were
both political and social.

Attributing the incidents to the atmospheric condition of Lagos airport in Ikeja, Oni said “One, we learnt from the investigation that Lagos airport has a special humidity and that by the time an aircraft is landing in Lagos, there are certain things, the humidity or the cloud or whatever will trigger off in the aircraft, for example, the Canadian pilot of the particular aircraft am talking about, he is not a Nigerian but he made us to understand that when you are approaching Lagos airport and you are landing, the dashboard in the cockpit, there are certain things that trigger off because of the atmosphere”.

One of the things that could trigger off according to Oni is that the baggage compartment light would show.

“Not only that, the humidity will ignite some other indicators in front and if you do not know and you are not conversant with Lagos, you will think somebody is opening your compartment and that was what happened in the second incident when the pilot did not report the case until after 36 minutes”, Oni explained.

Oni said that some of the reported cases of missing bags cannot actually be proved, stressing that the recent case alleged by the Air Peace which was not confirmed by a pilot coming behind is a good case in point.

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