Chairman, Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has revealed that foreign and local airlines operating in the country are running drug cartels at our International Airports.
Dabiri-Erewa who made this revelation during an investigative hearing by an ad-hoc Committee of the Senate that was set up to look into the circumstances that led to the arrest of a Nigerian lady, Zainab Aliyu by Saudi Arabian authorities in December 2018 said both Egyptian and Ethiopian Airlines are culprit in the criminal act.
She said “We have other foreign and local Airlines operating at our Airports. But Egyptian and Ethiopian Airlines have drug cartels operating at our International Airports. They operate alongside local collaborators. It is not Air Peace, not Arik Air, but Egyptian and Ethiopian Airlines”.
Mr. El-Yakub Usman Lamir, the Airport Chief of Security at the Federal Airport Authority(FAAN), however, made a shocking revelation that scanners at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, were not configured to detect drugs.
He made the revelation in response Senator Kabiru Gaya, Chairman of the adhoc Committee, who demanded to know the status of the scanners at the nation’s airports across the country.
Lamir added that there were 15 security agents involved in checking luggage at the point of entry and exit but that the number had been reduced as a result of frequent complaints by air travelers.
On his part, Mr Mustapha Abdallah, who represented the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), also disclosed that the agency did not have enough German trained sniffer dogs.
Abdallah said, “Throughout the federation, NDLEA only has 14 sniffer dogs stationed in Lagos and we don’t even have one to detect drugs at the Aminu Kano International Airport at all.
The committee chairman, Senator Gaya, charged the officials of the NDLEA to increase the number of sniffer dogs in all the international Airports across the country.
Gaya also directed the officials of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) to upgrade such sensitive equipment like scanners at the various Airports to ensure that the country did not become a transit camp for hard drugs.
The senator however, commended Zainab’s father for providing the information on the arrest of his daughter by Saudi Arabian authorities to the Social Media from where the federal government got wind of her arrest and detention.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the Senate upon conclusion of the investigative hearing.