Customs Boss Orders Probe Into Alleged Beating of Aviation Security Officials by His Men

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Manhandled aviation security personnel

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Abdullahi Dikko, comptroller-general of Customs Service, has ordered a thorough investigation into the alleged beating of five Aviation Security officials by men of his agency

ABDULAHI Dikko, comptroller of Customs Service, has ordered an investigation into the alleged beating up of five security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, by his men at the Hajj Section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday, June 3. Dikko was reported to have asked the Customs Area Controller at the airport to investigate the matter and report back to him.

Sources said the Customs boss was quoted as saying he would discipline any officer dragging the name of the department in mud. A source was quoted as saying: “Investigation is going on to ascertain what happened and we cannot speculate about what happened until investigation is concluded.”

Aviation security official
Aviation security official

According to a statement by Yakubu Datti, general manager, corporate affairs, FAAN, trouble started “when two Customs officials attempted to gain entry onto the air side of the airport without any form of identification, in breach of security regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO.”  But they were prevented from doing so by FAAN security officials, which enraged the Customs men who then “resorted to beating the aviation security officials in full public glare, leading to brief disruption of operations in the immediate vicinity.”

The affected five FAAN security personnel later taken to Aviation Clinic near the airport where they received treatment for their wounds.

Carl Onalu, a retired colonel, and airport’s chief security officer, CSO, said it was lamentable that the Customs officials beat up the FAAN officials who were doing their job.

Onatu insisted the Customs uniform does grant anybody access to restricted areas of the airport.

He said the customs officers involved in the attack had been arrested by the Airport Police Command personnel. He admitted that the matter had been reported to the Comptroller-General of Customs in Abuja.

Besides, he said: “The matter is still under investigation and we are going to look at the Close Circuit Television, CCTV, to see what transpired between them.”

To avoid a repeat of such occurrence, Onalu said there would soon be an airport security meeting to discuss extensively on security matters. He noted that at the higher level, “there is good working relationship, but there is disconnect at the lower level. Everybody has a role to play at the airport. There are rules governing act of everybody.”

—  Jun 4, 2015 @ 12:10 GMT

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