15 Year Old Boy Caught Hiding In Tyre Hole Of Arik’s Benin to Lagos Plane Thought He Was Travelling To The United States
The teenage stowaway, Daniel Ihekina, who was arrested at the Lagos Airport after flying in the tyre hole of an Arik plane from Benin to Lagos on Saturday morning, thought he was on a US-bound flight.
An airport source, who did not want his name in print said, “From what we heard, the boy said he was being maltreated and tried to escape from his parents. He thought he was on his way to the US.
“The parents have travelled to Lagos by road, to get him back.”
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu
Dati, confirmed that the aviation security personnel of the agency had
handed over the young voyager to the men of the SSS for extensive investigation.
Dati said, “The residential address the boy gave to us was traced to a church in Benin by our airport manager and his team. So, there is need to hand
over the teenager to the SSS who are experts in such investigations.”
Following the Benin Airport incident,
FAAN has adopted the ‘risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations’ at all its 22 airports
across the country.
Dati stressed that the agency had tightened its risk amelioration procedure to ensure that similar
incident did not occur again.
He also said the agency had prioritised the perimeter fencing of all the 22 airports in the country.
“In the meantime, we have adopted risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations. As a result of this incident in Benin, we
have further tightened our risk amelioration procedure to ensure that a similar incident does not occur,” he said.
However, FAAN has also continued to trade blame with Arik Air over the Benin incident.
The agency, in a statement on Sunday, stated that it felt “great dismay at the statement released by Arik Airlines about the stowaway found on board Arik’s flight 544 from Benin to Lagos on Saturday 24 August, 2013.”
Dati said FAAN was “unfairly indicted” while the airline took no responsibility whatsoever for such a “serious security breach.”
FAAN said its preliminary investigation had revealed that Arik did not give accurate account of the Benin Airport incident.
Giving the accounts of its preliminary findings, FAAN said, “Our investigations reveal that a passenger on board the flight called the attention of the cabin crew while the aircraft was waiting to take off at the threshold of the runway, to the effect that they had
seen a young boy walk under the aircraft and had not seen him re-appear on the other side.”
“The cabin crew in turn informed the pilots in the cockpit about this. The pilots called the control tower and asked them to request FAAN to do a
sweep of the area after their departure, opting to carry on with their flight despite the report.”
“Upon the arrival of the aircraft in Lagos, we were informed that there had been a stowaway found alive alighting from the wheel well of the aircraft. While FAAN takes this security breach extremely seriously, we deem Arik’s attempt at indicting and smearing FAAN as irresponsible.
Safety and security breaches occur when all the checks in the system are beaten. Given that security is a responsibility for all players in this industry, a critical last opportunity to detect and prevent this stowaway was offered and had the airline taken the
information by passengers as seriously as they should have, this incident would have been
Personally, I find news of a 15 year old boy beating Airport’s Lax security disturbing esp in the face of recent Security concerns in the country and annoying cos I can’t seem to imagine what was going through that kids head…. Well, to be fair on the kid, even Adults act on half-baked “seeking greener pasture” plans all the time; a recent example is http://www.nawa4u.blogspot.com/2010/04/naija-man-dies-inside-delta-airlines.html?m=1 …..ijs.