The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has spoken on the burglary attempt on the cargo compartment of an Abuja-bound Air Peace aircraft on Runway 18R of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, in a statement yesterday, faulted the pilot’s assertion of burglars attacking his aircraft cargo compartment, saying a review of all the reports from relevant agencies at the Lagos airport had led to the conclusion that the theft incident on the aircraft was unfounded.
“The NCAA came to the conclusion that the Runway 18R burglary report is unproven, largely unsubstantiated and therefore should be discountenanced,” Adurogboye said.
However, in a swift reaction, the spokesman for Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, accused the NCAA of trying to cover-up the inefficiencies of airport security and regulatory agencies to stem the rising cases of aircraft cargo theft at the Lagos airport.
“While we remain unwilling to be drawn into unnecessary controversy with agencies that ought to have been jolted into action from their slumber by patriotic information as we did on the incident, we are compelled to say the purported report by NCAA is both a lazy and a shoddy cover-up job.
“We will like to advise NCAA and its collaborators to treat complaints of security breach at our airports with the seriousness they deserve rather than this culture of baseless denial and attempt at cover-up. As members of the public may recall, similar incidents reported recently were also dismissed without a basis
“We need to reiterate that our pilot’s call to control tower was made after the rear cargo hold of our aircraft was opened and shut after 15 seconds,” Iwarah said.
The burglary attack on Air Peace would be the third of such incidents at the runway of the Lagos airport in recent months.
Recall that a chartered aircraft carrying two prominent Nigerian artistes – Tiwa Savage and Ayo Balogun (popularly known as Wizkid) was allegedly burgled while taxing to its hanger and their luggage stolen.