Drama ensued at the departure point of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) in Lagos on Thursday after airport security officials barred a para-military officer, who was found to be carrying a gun on him from boarding a Lagos-Abuja bound Dana Air flight.
It was gathered that the passenger, when questioned identified himself as a senior officer with one of Nigeria’s para-military organisation and showed various proofs that he had the authority to carry guns anywhere he wanted to in the country and should not be prevented.
Despite his explanations, the airport security personnel explained to him that carrying the weapon on him inside the flight was contrary to international civil aviation rules.
Spokesman for the airline, Mr. Kingsley Ezenwa who confirmed the incident, however, told newsmen that it was later found out that the passenger was not aware of the rules governing the carrying of firearms on board an aircraft.
“It’s a normal procedure. Whenever the personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) and other para-military personnel want to travel, some know the procedures, while others don’t,” said Ezenwa.
“The procedure is for you to register your firearms with the aviation security (AVSEC) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) while AVSEC will confirm if the owner of the firearms is actually travelling with the airline.
“He (passenger) was stopped at the boarding gate when the firearm was discovered. He later went through the whole process and before he could finish, the aircraft had departed for Abuja. But he later went with the next flight to Abuja. He was never delayed by us because we discovered that he was ignorant of the standard procedures,” Ezenwa added.