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Monday, 12 October 2015

House Of Reps Member’s Daughter Abducted In Abuja, Relaxed Security At Abuja Airport Blamed


MISS Eghonghon Jessica Edionwele, daughter of Mr. Joe Edionwele, House of Representatives member (Edo Central) was abducted Wednesday in Abuja.

Eghonghon, who is doing her mandatory one-year national service (NYSC) in Ibadan, Oyo State, had boarded an Abuja-bound flight in Lagos. She was however, kidnapped by unknown persons, between the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and her Area 1, Garki home.



As at the time of filing this report, no contact had been made with the abductors of the 25-year-old, except that following her disappearance, withdrawals had been made from her bank account.The Abuja airport has been blamed for her abduction.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, said the inability of security operatives at the airport to read the riot act to unregistered taxis puts passenger in harm’s way.
Inalegwu, in a telephone chat with The Guardian, said the abduction is still being investigated, in close collaboration with her family. “We are concerned and are closing in on it,” the CP said. He confirmed that the missing lawmaker’s daughter actually landed at the airport, boarded a taxi, but did not arrive home. “The pick-up point is at the airport. She came in from Lagos, and took a taxi at the airport, obviously.”
Inalegwu expressed worry that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has failed to check the menace of unregistered taxis at the facility.
“The FAAN security is there, so are other security agencies. The management of FAAN should not allow unregistered taxis to pick passengers at the airport; they can drop off passengers, but should not be allowed to pick. This, certainly, is a security lapse.
They have to conduct a raid in that airport; taxis should not be allowed to operate at an international airport like that. We had issues along the airport road, which we have dealt with. We have arrested over 200 unpainted taxis in the FCT, and the ‘one chance’ (fraudsters) people were also dealt with accordingly.
“Aviation security operatives should conduct regular raids to cleanse the airport of these unscrupulous elements and make sure that touts are removed,” Inalegwu said.
When The Guardian visited the airport, one cab operator, Olu Abdulmalik, said there had been similar cases at the airport that failed to catch public attention, and which the authorities seemed not to have been aware of.
“We, the real people, are known here. We know one another. You have to be registered before you are allowed to park here. But there are other people, who refuse to do the registration but hang along the exit road. These we don’t know. And some people patronise them.
“If the authorities of the airport mean business, they can drive them away permanently. But they allow them. Sometimes, when they drive them away, they still return. Though passengers want cheap fare, it is the responsibility of the airport to secure the area,” he said.
Information gathered that the high fare charged by registered cab operators at the airport might be the reason many people opt for a cheaper alternative.
Asked if he’s aware of the risk of boarding unregistered cabs, one of the passengers said: “If the aviation security operatives know that it is dangerous to passengers, why are they allowed in the first place? Security, here, needs to be beefed up.
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