by Rachel Ogbu
The Ministry of Aviation and Arik Air have both denied that there was a suicide bomber on a domestic flight on Tuesday after reports that a male passenger screaming “Allahu Akbar” in an air-borne Arik plane scared passengers.
Eye witnesses were quick to react and soon afterwards, news about the occurrence was all over social media claiming that a suicide bomber was caught while trying to detonate a bomb on an Arik flight from Maiduguri in Borno State, to Abuja.
Although the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah admitted there was a man screaming; ‘God is great!’ and acting strangely, passengers on the plane landed in Abuja safely at exactly 1253 hours and nothing incriminating was found on the passenger, Aminu Galadima, who caused the hoax.
“A passenger, Aminu Galadima, an indigene of Minna, Niger state boarded a Maiduguri – Abuja bound Arik Air aircraft with registration number 5N MJE. After going through all mandatory security screening, nothing incriminating, no explosives or weapons whatsoever were found on him.
“However, midair the passenger began to act strangely. Fellow passengers, alarmed by this behaviour rushed to apprehend him. A thorough search by fellow passengers and crew members revealed nothing dangerous on him,” the minister said through her Special Adviser on Media, Joe Obi.
The pilot had radioed Air Traffic Control and airport security operatives immediately and Galadima was arrested by men of the State Security Service, SSS, for further interrogation.
Adebanji Ola, spokesperson for Arik Air, also confirmed Obi’s statements.
“Arik Air wishes to assure guests that all its flights undergo strict security checks and passengers have nothing to fear.