“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wishes to apologise to passengers and other airport users that witnessed a temporary power outage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 2315hours yesterday, April 1, 2022.
“The outage, which was as a result of yesterday’s rain, that came with very fierce winds and storms, a natural occurrence, affected one of our feeders and consequently resulted in the temporary disruption of power supply at the D wing of the airport.
“However, our engineers quickly discovered the fault, and liaised with the Ejigbo duty/area control office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and together resolved the problem. Normalcy has since been restored at the affected area.”
The power outage at the airport on Friday night
Many passengers were stranded after a power outage hit a section of the Lagos airport on Friday night.
Many passengers shared videos on social media lamenting the situation.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a preacher and the General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, Rev. Ugochukwu Emmanuel, for carrying 54 sticks of drugs.
The suspect was nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, in Lagos while on his way to a crusade in Nairobi, Kenya, a statement issued by the agency on Sunday said.
Rev. Ugochukwu, who was arrested on Monday, in an outward clearance of passengers on an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi via Addis Ababa, was said to have wrapped the drugs around his body.
“When tested, the 54 sticks proved positive to cannabis. The clergyman confessed during [a] preliminary interview that he packed that quantity of illicit substance on his body to use during his three weeks crusade in Kenya,” NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said in the statement.
The preacher’s church headquarters is in Isuaniocha, Mgbakwu Road, Awka, Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra State. He has branches in Lagos and Abuja.
Similarly, another passenger, Nnakeanyi Chukwuka King, was intercepted with 40 parcels of Cocaine concealed in bottles of body cream weighing 9.70kg. They were recovered from him during a stop and search operation.
He was intercepted at the E-Arrival Hall of the MMIA and had boarded an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
This is as the agency intercepted one Edo Blessing, three days later, at the Departure Hall of the airport with 2, 090 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and Flunitrazepam. The suspect, who is from Edo State and had boarded an Ethiopian Airlines flight, claimed ownership of the recovered psychotropic substances.
“Also on the same day, operatives arrested a freight agent, Rafiu Abbas at the NAHCO Export Shed of the airport when he presented a cargo containing 19.15kg cannabis going to London. The illicit substance was concealed inside plastic containers labelled as ‘African Dishes’ and packed in a bag,” the NDLEA added.
Also in Lagos, a 63-year-old Vincent Obimma was arrested on Friday in the Apapa Seaport corridor in Lagos with 350grams of cocaine and 150grams of heroin. The drugs were hidden in industrial torch packets heading to Kano, Kano State.
In a related development, James Okenwa was arrested in a follow-up operation at the Central Market, Kaduna. The suspect admitted ownership of 1,807 bottles of cough syrup with codeine that were earlier recovered from two suspects at the tollgate.
“At the point of his arrest, another 152 bottles of the drug were recovered from his vehicle. He has accepted ownership of all the 1,959 bottles of the codeine syrup,” the agency’s statement explained.
There were also seizures and arrests in Yobe and Anambra states. In the former, two fake security agents, Akalonu Justin and Azimbi Festus, were arrested with 25 blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 12 .5kg and 1, 598 bottles of Codeine Syrup weighing 159.8 litres. They were coming from Onitsha and heading to Maiduguri in Borno State.
Another 85kg of Cannabis was recovered from the warehouse of a notorious drug dealer in the Pawari area of Damaturu, the state capital on Thursday.
“In Anambra state, a total of 38,605 tablets of assorted opioids were recovered from a 29-year-old drug dealer, Awoke Friday at Nkwelle junction, Onitsha on Friday 11th March with the support of men of the Nigeria Police,” Babafemi’s statement read.
Following the seizures and arrests, the Chairman/ Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, lauded officers and men of the agency in the affected commands. He urged them to be focused on the fight against illicit drugs.
A woman heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The woman, according to a statement signed on Monday by NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi was arrested for ingesting 80 pellets of cocaine.
“The 46-year-old Mrs. Adisa Afusat Olayinka who lives in Ibafo, Ogun state hails from Ilorin, in Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State.
“She was arrested on Wednesday 24th November at the boarding screening area of the airport during an outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight 1418. She was subsequently taken into custody where she excreted 80 pellets of the illicit drug between Wednesday and Saturday, 27th Nov,” the statement read in part.
Olayinka during interviews by the NDLEA explained that she saved N2.5million over a period of one year to buy the drugs in bits from six different people at Akala, Mushin area of Lagos.
The suspect further said she was trading in clothes but had to borrow N1million from three persons to make up the money used to buy the drugs, adding that she spent another N1million to renew her passport, visa, and buy return flight tickets.
“She said she was encouraged to traffic the drugs by a woman she met during her last Umrah trip to Saudi Arabia in 2019. She added that she needed to raise N7million for In Vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment due to pressure from people because she’s been married for 28 years without a child due to fertility challenges.”
Meanwhile, another trafficker, Inusa Abdulrazaki was arrested with 101 wraps of Heroin weighing 1.3 kilograms on Friday 19th Nov. at Gate C -Departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the statement, Abdulrazaki was arrested on his way to Italy via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines.
“The drugs were concealed inside cassava flour popularly called gari. The following day Saturday 20th Nov, NDLEA operatives at the airport during a routine cargo search at NAHCO export shed intercepted an abandoned consignment of khat 17.90kg.”
While commending the officers and men of the NAIA and MMIA commands, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Mohammed Buba Marwa urged them to always stay two steps ahead of the drug cartels.
Operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service on Tuesday intercepted about 1.5m tablets of Tramadol at the Lagos State cargo airport.
The items were seized by officers of the Murtala Mohammed Area Command of Customs at the SAHCO Import shed in Lagos.
Addressing journalists at the command warehouse, the Area Controller of Muritala Mohammed Area Command, Sambo Dangaladima said that although no suspect has been arrested, the items valued at N92.3 million were impounded for further action.
Controller Dangaladima noted that within his five months of taking over as the area commander, the revenue figure has risen to N3 billion compared with the same period last year.
A Brazil-based drug dealer, Okafor Okwudili Moses has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over 2.55 kilograms of cocaine recovered from a toilet at the E-Arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.
NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, confirmed this in a statement on Sunday.
According to Mr Babafemi, the drug was discovered in the toilet of the airport on Friday 12th November after it was dumped there by a trafficker who was obviously scared of being caught by narcotic officers positioned at the airport.
The following day, Saturday, November 13, the actual owner of the consignment, Okafor arrived at the airport from Brazil via an Ethiopian Airline and was promptly arrested.
While being interviewed in custody, he confirmed he is the owner of the seized illicit drug.
In other interdiction operations across the country, over 6,043.857 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs were recovered in five states of Adamawa, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Ebonyi with more than two hectares of cannabis farms destroyed.
A suspected fake security agent, Abdullahi Mohammed, who claimed to be serving in one of the security formations in Mubi, Adamawa state was arrested with four blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 4kg along Bazza- Michika road. In the same vein, four other suspects were arrested at different locations in Jimeta, Yola North LGA, with assorted substances such as Cannabis, Diazepam, Exol- 5 and Tramadol tablets.
In Ondo state, three persons: Alabi Idowu; Oluwatomipe Olorundare and Finity Sunday were arrested on Monday 15th November and a total of 2,771kgs of Cannabis recovered from them at Oke Ogun camp, Ipele, Owo LGA, while 59-year-old Mrs. Joy Peter was nabbed with over 39kg cannabis and Tramadol tablets on Wednesday 17th Nov.
Similarly, over 2, 832kg of drugs were seized and more than two hectares of cannabis farms destroyed in parts of Ekiti state. While 2,582kg of Cannabis was recovered on Tuesday 16th November from Itapaji forest, Ipao, Ikole LGA, 250kg was seized from Ise forest, Ise-Orun LGA where the cannabis farm was also destroyed on Thursday 18th Nov.
Meanwhile, in Ebonyi, 29-year-old Ivoh Chukwuemeka accompanied by his girlfriend Ogbonna Peace, 18, was intercepted along Enugu-Abakaliki expressway with 20.357kg cannabis on Friday 19th Nov. Similarly, 377.5kg cannabis was seized from at least two suspects: Lucky Okhian and Aaron Monday in Owan West LGA as well as Okpokhumi forest in Owan East LGA of Edo state.
Reacting to the arrest of Okafor and other suspects as well as the seizures from the states, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men involved in the operations across the commands for sustaining the heat on drug cartels in the country.
“We are proving to the bad guys and merchants of death that we’ll not stay a step ahead of them but two steps in this game, and this we must sustain as we prepare to go into the new year,” he declared.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted 200 kilogrammes of illicit substances from suspected traffickers at three airports.
The defiant traffickers had attempted to export the hard drugs through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano, the spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
At the Lagos airport, 41-year-old Adewuyi Olayinka was arrested while trying to export 650 grammes of cocaine wrapped in two parcels to the United Kingdom through the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA cargo in Ikeja.
The NDLEA Commander at MMIA Command, Ahmadu Garba, explained that the drug was concealed in dry local pepper and herbal concoction.
Elsewhere, 107 kilogrammes of hard drug suspected to be khat was seized at the cargo shed of the Kano Airport while being exported to Canada.
According to the Acting NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mohammed Ajiya, the drug was concealed in golden colour nylon bags covered with textile materials and labelled tea, to deceive and mislead the operatives.
“The so-called tea arose the suspicion of officers at the cargo shed who insisted that it must be subjected to laboratory analysis and test before it will be allowed to go, because the so-called tea came from Lagos by road to Kano and our operatives wondered why the owner did not ship it via Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
“Hence, the reason the shipment was delayed until the sample was taken and sent to our forensic lab for analysis; the result came out positive for khat, it has since been seized and is now in our custody,” Ajiya said.
In the nation’s capital, NDLEA operatives foiled an attempt by a suspected trafficker to export 92.250 kilogrammes of khat via Turkish Air through the cargo warehouse at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, who is the NDLEA Commander at the Abuja Airport, noted that the hard drug packed in six cartoons was heading to Goussainville in France.
He said the clearing agent processing the consignment for export claimed the cargo was dried moringa leaves as stated in the airway bill but upon laboratory tests, it turned out to be hard drug.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the anti-drug agency, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, commended the commanders and operatives of the three international airports for their vigilance and efforts to secure Nigerians and citizens of destination countries from the menace of illicit drugs.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has a notorious suspected drug trafficker, Hassan Taiwo, with three parcels of cocaine concealed in a false bottom created in his suitcase.
Mr Femi Babafemi, who is the Director of Media and Advocacy at the agency, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
He noted that the suspect was arrested by operatives of the agency at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA).
According to the statement, preliminary investigations reveal that Hassan who was intercepted at the E-Arrival hall of the MMIA at the weekend, upon arrival onboard Ethiopian airlines at 1:30pm Friday, has been plying the illicit trade through the middle east routes for some time.
“The suspect came into Nigeria through Addis-Ababa but he actually travelled to Addis-Ababa from Abuja,” the Commander of MMIA NDLEA Command, Ahmadu Garba, was quoted as saying in a statement.
He added, “Upon a thorough search, we discovered another ticket on him while our findings also show that he has been plying his criminal trade through some Middle East countries.”
In the same vein, narcotic officers attached to a courier company in Lagos were said to have intercepted 500grammes of unaccompanied cocaine going to the United Arab Emirates and concealed inside the walls of packed cartons containing clothes.
The operatives also intercepted in another courier firm one kilogramme of cannabis concealed in cream bottles going to UAE, while 500grammes of ketamine hidden in artefacts and going to the US was recovered from the same company in Lagos.
Another 480grammes of unaccompanied methamphetamine going to China was recovered from the same courier company.
Elsewhere, operatives of the Anambra State Command of the agency recovered 58.5 grammes of cocaine and 13.9 grammes of heroine concealed in the palace of a prominent traditional ruler in the state.
The NDLEA commander in the state, Muhammadu Idris, noted that investigations were ongoing to unravel how the illicit drugs were hidden in the palace.
He added that the palace security guards were helping the agency to trace the dealer behind the consignment.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, commended the personnel involved in the operations for their vigilance and urged them not to relent in the fight against drug abuse in the country.
The aircraft with registration 5N SYS, and flight number ZQ2325 was grounded in the middle of the runway on Tuesday after a tyre burst while it was landing on this runway.
This caused the airlines to cancel flights.
The spokesperson for FAAN, Yakubu Henrietta in an update posted on the agency’s official Twitter handle said that the aircraft was removed in the early hours of Wednesday and the runway is now opened for operation.
Update: Runway 18R in MMIA Lagos that was temporarily closed yesterday due to a tyre burst on landing by Azman air aircraft is now open. https://t.co/ZoliiNlBcQ
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has announced the temporary closure of Runway 18R/36L at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
This closure according to a statement signed on Tuesday by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, was due to a landing incident.
“The closure is due to a landing incident involving a Boeing 737 Azman Air aircraft with registration 5N SYS, and flight number ZQ2325. The aircraft had a tyre burst after landing on this runway,” FAAN said.
The agency added that all passengers and crew onboard the aircraft were safely evacuated and officials of FAAN Air Rescue and Fire Fighting Services, are working to ensure the aircraft is towed out of the runway, so as to restore normalcy.
Find below the full statement announcing the closure:
FAAN TEMPORARILY CLOSES RUNWAY 18R IN LAGOS.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria hereby announces a temporary closure of Runway 18R/36L at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
The closure is due to a landing incident involving a Boeing 737 Azman Air aircraft with registration 5N SYS, and flight number ZQ2325. The aircraft had a tyre burst after landing on this runway.
All passengers and crew onboard the aircraft were safely evacuated at 1908 hours, and officials of FAAN Air Rescue and Fire Fighting Services, AIB, and NAHCO are already working to ensure the aircraft is towed out of the runway, so as to restore normalcy.
Garba, who is the NDLEA commander at the airport, explained that Onyekachi arrived in Nigeria onboard Ethiopian Airways from Sao Paulo in Brazil via Addis Ababa.
He disclosed that the hard drugs were cleverly concealed in t-shirt stickers, but the suspect could not escape the eagle eyes of the NDLEA detectives.
The newly-appointed Chairman of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa, had issued marching orders to commanders in the agency to mop up illicit drugs across the country.
Following the directive by the NDLEA boss, the agency said it had made the biggest single seizure of cocaine from an individual in the last 15 years.
NDLEA detectives seized 26.84 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, on Wednesday last week.
A female suspect, Onyejegbu Jennifer, who had also just returned to Nigeria from Sao Paulo via Addis Ababa was arrested in connection with the offence.
“A field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to cocaine and weighed 26.850kilogrammes,” the agency said in a statement released on Saturday last week.
It added, “The suspect who is a hairstylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to having agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) only.
“Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21 billion.”
Workers under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, (ANAP), and the National Air Transport Employees of Nigeria, (NUATE), have protested against the planned concession of four International Airports in the Country.
The workers, who held the protest at the Ilorin International Airport in Kwara State on Monday, lamented that previous concessions by the Federal Government has not yielded any fruit, and handing over the four airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano to concessionaires, could lead to great loss to the country and loss of jobs to the people.
Recently, the Federal Government said it has commenced the concession process after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, received an outline business case certificate of compliance from ICRC.
According to the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, Sunday Ugbeikwu, the move is not an acceptable one.
“The Federal Government in conjunction with Minister of Aviation wants to concession our airports and we are saying no, they cannot concession our patrimony, we inherited it, and it is not in our watch it will happen,” he said.
While listing other facilities and infrastructures, he added that no concession has worked in Nigeria “because we are not transparent and they want to bring it into the aviation industry and we are saying no to the concession. They are not transparent in their policies.
“They said they want to draft our pensioners into PENCOM, for your information, FAAN is owing PENCOM to the tune of about N85 billion. If they do not clear those debts, they are mortgaging our destiny,” he expressed.
The Federal Government had stated that there is no going back on its plan to concession the four major airports in the country as it seeks to improve its safety and capacity.
According to Mr Sirika, the Government does not have money to put into these businesses and they don’t want to sell these facilities either.
But the Secretary, National Air Transport Employees of Nigeria, Abdulazeez Sanni, stressed that the move to single out the commercially viable airports will lead to job losses.
“We have 22 airports in the country, four are viable, most especially Lagos. Now they want to single out the viable ones and concession them, when the private sector takes over the airports that generate money and is now in the hands of concessionaires, where will they get money to pay staff?
“If these four have been taken over, who takes care of the remaining airports, who will pay salary? How is it possible that people will not lose their jobs?
“These are the things we want the whole world to know and to look into it. If you want to concession, there are options,” he urged.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has reacted to the diversion and outright cancellation of flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
A statement by the Director of Public Affairs, James Odaudu, on Thursday said the minister noted with great concern the experiences of air travellers to and from the airport Lagos, as a result of highly inclement weather conditions.
Sirika, however, gave the assurance that authorities at the airport were in the process of replacing the old Category 2 Instrument Landing Systems with the newly procured Category 3 system that allows for the lowest visibility landing.
He, however, regretted that there was a malfunctioning of certain components, which, coupled with the unforeseen weather conditions, made landing at the airport difficult.
“The procurement of the Category 3 Instrument landing system is in pursuance of the desire of the Federal Government to ensure the safety of air passengers by ensuring that airplanes can land with almost zero visibility.
“We wish to assure the public and the airlines, that efforts are on to return the system to full working condition and that normalcy of operations will be re-established in due course,” the minister said.
On the diversion of incoming international flights to neighbouring countries, he stated that the decisions were purely those of the airlines which the government has no control over.
According to Sirika, such flights could and should have been rerouted to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja which is shorter or equidistant from Lagos to the foreign airports to which some of the flights have been diverted.
He disclosed that in recognition of Abuja as an alternate airport, Qatar airlines has applied to divert its flights there and the request was immediately approved.
“It is left to be seen why some others decided to divert to another country,” the minister wondered.
He added, “We wish to use this medium to assure the general public that the comfort, safety and, security of the flying populace remain the central focus of this administration and that no effort would be spared in ensuring this.”