By Chinelo Obogo
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has permanently banned two immigration officers from airport jobs for extorting a 14-year-old passenger at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. In a press statement, FAAN said the officers have refunded the money that was extorted and their duty cards have been withdrawn.
On February 19, 2022, the mother of the minor said on Twitter that her child was extorted and left with no money to travel abroad. She said: “My 14-year-old daughter is travelling by herself. Immigration took all her money before they let her go. They took money from a 14-year-old. Didn’t even leave her with one kobo or one thousand naira so she can buy food while she waits. How wicked?
“I am so angry. A child! Why are you stealing money from a child! And you took all of it and didn’t let her call her mother!”
On Friday however, the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said in a statement that the officers have been caught and have refunded the money. Their duty cards have also been withdrawn.
“Following a tweeted allegation on the February 19, 2022 by the mother of a 14-year-old-girl travelling on Lufthansa Airlines that two officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service extorted the sum of N8, 000 from her daughter, a team of FAAN Aviation Security officers was commissioned to investigate the allegation.
“Upon investigation, they found the allegation to be true, as the officers involved were identified with the help of footages on our CCTV facility, and the cooperation from the Nigerian Immigration Service.
“Consequently, the officers were made to refund the exact amount collected from the passenger. Their On Duty Cards were also withdrawn permanently, and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian airport, to serve as deterrent to others.”
Responding to FAAN’s statement, the mother of the minor said: “Got a refund and an apology from multiple people. The guys at FAAN were very communicative through out the process. I know there’s skepticism about the use of CCTV but they did confirm there were two officers, my daughter only mentioned one to me so I didn’t tell them that. Thank you!”