Following the announcement by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that it apprehended an Arik Air staff in connection with passenger extortion, the airline has suspended the staff indefinitely as it seeks to conduct its internal investigations, while FAAN also continues in its own investigations on the matter.
“The management of Arik Air (in Receivership) has suspended with immediate effect one of its staff caught by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for soliciting bribe at the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed International, Ikeja, Lagos, pending further investigations,” Arik Air stated.
The airline also added: “While the management conducts its own internal investigation, we wish to reassure FAAN of our cooperation on this matter if further investigation is required. We fully support what FAAN is doing to rid our airports of this menace of corruption.”
According to the Authority, an emergency FAAN Management meeting was necessitated by the incessant extortion of passengers by airport officials at the nation’s airports and steps being taken to address the situation. The meeting had in attendance the MD/CE of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu; Directors of the Authority, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Airport Managers and Airport Chiefs of Security.
In a released by Henrietta Yakubu (Mrs.) General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN stated that following this meeting, “a staff of Arik airline had been apprehended while soliciting bribe from a travelling passenger at the General Aviation Terminal, Lagos.”
The On Duty Card of the erring staff has been withdrawn immediately, and she has been handed over to the relevant security agency for appropriate action in order to serve as deterrent to other bad eggs in the airport, FAAN disclosed.
FAAN noted that “recent embarrassing online videos where passengers complained of acts of extortion at the nation’s airports had necessitated the need to devise multi level strategies to curb the menace.”
The meeting also resolved that henceforth, any erring airport official caught soliciting for bribes at the nation’s airports will be permanently denied access to working at the airports. Officials were also directed to always wear conspicuous name tags anytime they are on duty.
Captain Yadudu further directed the Airport Managers to ensure that all stakeholders at the airports are properly sensitized on the new development as there will be no sacred cows.