The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has decried the widely reported story of a boy arrested “inside” Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, premises with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
In a statement today, the General Manager, Corporate Communications FAAN), Yakubu Dati said that the supposed attacker was never seen close to the airport at the time of his arrest.
He said that the young man was held close to the airport for loitering, which attracted the attention of security operatives.
“The suspect, a man in his late 20s was arrested at an area of the airport close to the church of the airport internal link road, leading to the Stakeholders/Limousine car park. That is a distance of about one kilometre to the international terminal.
“At the time of his arrest, the suspect was said to be loitering around the said area all morning. This attracted the curiosity of security guards on duty at the entrance of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s CENTREX Facility located along the airport internal link road, who promptly alerted the police.
“The suspect was alleged to be in possession of a device suspected to be used in making explosives. He was promptly handed over to the Airport Police Command for interrogation. While we appreciate the need to promptly report all suspicious characters to security agencies, it is important to always cross check the facts before going to press, to avoid sending the wrong signals to the public.
“The issue of safety and security of the airport has remained our priority and the various security agencies are collaborating with us for a secure and safe environment.
“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria therefore wishes to reassure passengers and other airport users of adequate security architecture at MMA as well as its avowed commitment to making safety and security top priority at all times.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman-Abba, has directed that the suspect should be transferred to Abuja for immediate interrogation and investigation into his activities.
The police said that it is taking into cognizance the fact that there are issues about the state of mind of the man, but do not want to take any chances even as it insisted that the matter would be investigated thoroughly. [myad]