Suspected 25-year-old Stowaway Arrested at Benin Airport

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Perhaps inspired by the scholarship promised the 13-year-old Daniel Ohikhena, who on August 24 hid himself in an Arik Air aircraft wheel compartment from Benin City to Lagos, a 25-year-old man, Leroy Ugaga, was Monday arrested while attempting to access the airside of the Benin City airport.

Ugaga was said to have been arrested lying with his belly close to the run way with an intent of illegally boarding an Abuja-bound Arik Air flight.

However, the Benin City Airport Manager, Ayodele Sunday, could not be reached as calls put across to his phone were unanswered.

But confirming the incident, the Chief Security Officer of the airport, Mr. Adeboye Festus, said the suspect had confessed to the crime.

Responding to questions from journalists, the suspect said he was a psychiatric patient and was tired of life; hence he wanted to travel to Abuja.

However, General Manager, Corporate Communication, FAAN Yakubu Dati, explained that the trespasser was sighted and observed for a few minutes by members of the patrol team as he tried to gain entry to the airside and as soon as his intentions became clear, he was quickly apprehended and handed over to the police for further interrogation.

“A joint perimeter patrol by FAAN’s security staff and men of Air Force at the Benin Airport is one of the additional security measures taken by the FAAN to forestall runway incursions at all Nigerian airports, following the stowaway incident that occurred at the Benin Airport on August 24.

“FAAN hereby appeals to all members of the public, especially youths, to avoid the risk of attempting to gain unauthorised entry into restricted areas of the airports, across the country, as doing so is now extremely dangerous. Trespassers are likely to be severely dealt with if the security patrols have cause to suspect violent intentions,” Dati said.

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