Thursday, 28 December 2017

Wizkid,Tiwa Savage Private Jet Robbed At Lagos Airport

The security lapses at the country may have found expression at the nation’s airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed Airports, Lagos as bandits have continued to rob airlines taxiing to their final stops. A private jet carrying two top Nigerian musical artists, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka “Wizkid” and Tiwa Savage from Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State was attacked and robbed on Tuesday night while taxiing on Murtala Muhammed airport’s runway 18L.

The Bombardier Challenger 605 jet, with registration number T7-A00, was said to have arrived Lagos from Uyo about 8:33p.m. and was slowly taxiing to the arrival hangar when the cargo compartment was burgled. The jet slowed to allow an Ethiopian Airline cargo plane, with registration number ET-ARH, to push back for takeoff.

The pilot, Captain Cloud Cote, was said to have noticed the cargo door had been opened by burglars and promptly notified the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) security, but the burglars had disappeared before FAAN officials could make it to the point where the attack took place. Upon arrival at Quits Aviation Centre, a private jet hangar, the pilot discovered that two bags belonging to Ms. Savage and Wizkid had been stolen by the airport bandits.

FAAN has only one escort’s vehicle for arriving and departing aircraft for the entire airport, which handles at least 200 flights daily. Consequently, security operatives met yesterday trying to find a lasting solution to the incessant robbery of light aircraft on the tarmac of the Lagos airport.

The outcome of the meeting was unknown as the officials were still in the meeting as at press time. Spokeswoman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the meeting when New Telegraph called her on phone. She, however, in a statement denied that the incident took place. “Amidst allegations of poaching of aircraft and stealing of baggage at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, FAAN hereby dispels such allegations as baseless and practically impossible.

“It is not possible for anyone to burgle an aircraft in motion. Furthermore, 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. “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,” Yakubu said.

On December 12, 2017, a Vistajet jet with registration number 9H-VFA operated by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd was robbed on the runway 18R of the airport by bandits when taxiing to the hangar of EAN. The jet was arriving from Istanbul between 2110-2130hrs when the robbery took place after landing in Lagos.

The pilot of the jet, Captain Emma Heering, discovered that the rear door of the aircraft was opened while taxiing to the hangar of EAN after which it was discovered that a big black bag belonging to the airhostess, Francesca Louis, was missing from the jet. Speaking on the incident, former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group Capt. John Ojikutu said FAAN needs to look inward, describing it as “insiders’ job”. His words:

“It is insiders’ job.’ Somebody somewhere is responsible for this. They should thoroughly investigate people from General Aviation (GA). What is the mode of retrenchment of staff or those who are not well compensated?”

Source:New Telegraph

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