Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Arik bomb suspect is mentally unstable
Passengers on an Abuja-bound Arik Air flight yesterday arrested a man that was suspected to be planning to bomb the plane.
But the spokesman for the Aviation Minister, Joe Obi, told reporters that it was not true that a bomb was found on the aircraft.
He stated: “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, mid-air the passenger began to act strangely, loudly screaming Allah Akbar (God is Great). 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 pilot immediately radioed Air Traffic Control and airport security operatives.”
Sources told The Guardian in Abuja that the suspect, who works in the office of the Secretary to the Borno State Government has been under security surveillance for his “unusual” behaviour.
He was followed from Abuja to Maiduguri where he lodged in a hotel.
Security agents who have kept an eye on him later decided to search his hotel room, but found no weapons or suspicious materials.
Convinced that he was not sane, the suspect was taken to a hospital for check-up and treatment.
On being released, he was put on the Maiduguri flight back to Abuja yesterday. It was in the flight he then got up and shouted Allah Akbar!
This prompted passengers who suspected he was a terrorist to overpower him. He has since been taken into custody by security agents.
But the State Security Service (SSS) in a statement said: “On Friday, 19th October, 2012, Wife of the SSG to the Borno State Government, Hajia Yachilla JIDDA, travelled to Maiduguri in company of one Aminu S. GALADIMA, an interior decorator based in Abuja to do some interior decoration work.
“On arrival in Maiduguri, he was lodged at Greenland Hotel. During the course of his stay, he exhibited unusual behaviour by smashing a window, and ended up with lacerations on his hands.
“The SSG was contacted, and in collaboration with the Hotel management, subject was taken to Atal Hospital, also in Maiduguri, where he received treatment.
“His family in Abuja was contacted and they gave confirmation that GALADIMA has been mentally unstable. In addition, his elder brother who lives in the UK was contacted and he requested that subject be returned to Abuja for medical attention.
“On Sunday, 21st October, 2012, he was taken to the airport to be returned to Abuja, but missed the flight.
“However, the Airport management was informed of his state of health, and they advised that whenever his return is scheduled, the management should be notified.
“Unfortunately, when GALADIMA was taken to the Airport on 23rd October for his return trip, the management of the Airport was not informed, and 10 minutes into the flight, due to slight turbulence, his condition was triggered off.
“Meanwhile, GALADIMA is in the custody of security agents.
“This clarification has become necessary to dispel the unfounded rumours concerning the flight.”