Man caught stealing cables at Lagos airport weeks after runway lights theft

OFFICIALS of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) have arrested a man for attempting to steal underground cables at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.

Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua disclosed this in a statement on Friday, July 21.

According to the statement, three men were spotted digging out the airport underground cables by guards on duty at the Nigeria Airforce HQ NADC gate.

The men fled upon sighting the guards, however, one of them, was shot and apprehended by the officials.

The injured suspect, identified as Usman Musa , 28, was taken to General Hospital Oyingbo where he is recieving treatment for his injuries.

“Usman Musa will be properly interrogated after he has stabilised.

“The Authority believes that this incident could be a relevant clue to unraveling the theft of the Runway Lighting at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja,” Yakubu-Funtua noted.

On July 12, FAAN confirmed that runway lights at the MMIA were stolen from the airport.

Some Heads of Departments were suspended following the theft based on the directives of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Emmanuel Meribole.

The second runway of the MMIA, Lagos operated without airfield lighting for about 16 years until November 2022.

The runway was shut for three months before it was re-opened in November 2022 for flight services, after the successful installation of the CAT III Airfield ground lighting system.



    This is not the first robbery attempt recorded at the Lagos airport.

    In December 2021, Arik Air complained to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) about an attempted robbery of its taxiing aircraft by unknown men that encroached on the runway.

    Yakubu-Funtua said that investigations had commenced into the theft, and described allegations that FAAN officials were involved in the incident as speculations.

    “Once the investigations are concluded, we will let the public know,” he said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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