Chairman of ANAP Jets, Mr. Atedo Peterside, has confirmed to THISDAY that his jet was robbed on the tarmac of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, while waiting for clearance to take off.
According to him, the incident happened about 8:00p.m. last Sunday and lamented that the ability of unscrupulous persons to have access to the airport showed that the Lagos airport was insecure and as the nation’s busiest airport, concerned authorities should be worried about what happened;
Investigations into the incident by THISDAY revealed that security breaches occur daily at the airport because there is no comprehensive security and perimetre fencing, so people easily go into the airport and hide in the bushes that surround the airside, where aircraft taxi to take off.
According to the safety procedure adopted by FAAN since the incidents of robbery on taxing aircraft, every aircraft taking off is escorted by patrol vans with security operatives and arriving aircraft are also escorted by patrol vans.
Reports however indicated that when the ANAP Jets aircraft was about to take off, it was not escorted and it was directed to wait at the holding point for another aircraft to take off at the runway by the Air Traffic Control.
It was while it was waiting that suspected thieves came out from the bush and accessed the cargo hold of the flight and took the only bag in the hold.
Peterside dismissed the doubt being expressed by FAAN officials and said, “I will be surprised if anybody will deny it. When they opened the cargo hold they saw only one bag in it and they took it. They would have taken all the bags if there were more bags there. What this shows is that Lagos airport is vulnerable in terms of security. If the security at the airport is fortified, they should not have been able to enter there at all.”
He also expressed concern about the untamed bushes that grow around the airport and said they provide thieves areas to hide and carry out their unscrupulous acts.