At least 1,500 passengers are stranded in Ghana four days after British Airways, Rwandair, Emirates and Qatar airlines diverted their flights from Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos to Kotoka International Airport, in Accra.
The airlines said they could not airlift the passengers to their intended destination because of unfavorable weather condition.
According to PRNigeria, British Airways (BA) already cancelled its flight to Lagos due to operational constraints.
In an email sent to passengers, the airline notified them of its plans to airlift those interested back to the United Kingdom.
“BA075-We would like to sincerely apologise for the disruption to your journey to Lagos. Due to adverse weather at the airport, we were unable to safely land into Lagos Airport… If you wish to travel from Accra – London Heathrow, there are limited availability of seats to book on,” the email read.
“Please speak with our colleagues at the airport to adjust your ticket, subject to availability. BA078 Accra – London Heathrow is scheduled to depart at 23:00 local time. Please submit your receipts for claims hotels, transport, refreshment, the cost for calls and internet access & transport to www.ba.com/helpme.
“Our Customer Relations team will review each case on an individual basis. We understand this is not what you expect when you travel with us and apologise for the significant inconvenience we have caused to your journey.”
Olayiwola Zaid, one of the BA passengers, lamented over the delay in airlifting passengers to Nigeria.
Zaid, a cybersecurity analyst, who claimed to have made alternative arrangement to fly to Nigeria via a domestic flight from Ghana, faulted the federal government for inappropriate actions over the incident.
“This frustrating, agonizing, but avoidable development will have prompted the Minister of Aviation and airport authorities to take appropriate actions in defence of their citizens. It is bewildering that an international airport like MMIA cannot boast of an efficient Instrument Landing System (ILS) and other fundamental air navigation equipment for an international flight,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN spokesperson, said the flights were not diverted to Ghana over lack of basic navigation and landing equipment at MMIA, but due to poor weather condition in Lagos after the aircraft had arrived the country.
Some passengers of a British Airways flight from London to Lagos had earlier accused the airline of abandoning them in Abuja over harmattan in Lagos.
On Thursday, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said the federal government is making efforts to improve visibility at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
He said diverting flights to Ghana was purely the decision of the airlines as such could have been diverted to Abuja.
Lagos: Celestial Leaders Arraigned By Police Over N85m Fraud
The Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon, Lagos, on Monday arraigned three Celestial Church of Christ leaders before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over alleged N85m fraud.
The defendants, John Omotosho aka Jorotom, Boye Olaniyan and Folashade Ogundipe were arraigned on four counts bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences and fraud before Justice Ayokunle Faji.
The defendants, who were arraigned alongside a company, Folafunmi Integrated Limited, were alleged to have defrauded the church’s headquarters at Imeko, Ogun State, of the sum of N85,914,500, under the pretext of using the money for the church’s development.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The offences were said to be contrary to sections 8(a),1(1)(a) and 1(1)(a)&(b)of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
Following their pleas, the prosecutor asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.
The presiding judge, Justice Faji, asked the prosecution if the defendants were on administrative bail and if they had jumped the bail before being charged to court.
Granting the defendants bail, Faji ordered three church members to file an undertaking, affidavit of means and produce a bond of N350,000 for each of the defendants before they would be allowed to go home.
He said, “These members of the church, Adeosun Israel Oladipo, Assistant Shepherd, CCC, Jerusalem Cathedral, Shasha; Afolabi Tolorunloju and Surakatu John, workers at CCC, Jerusalem Cathedral, Shasha, shall file an undertaking to produce the defendants at the next adjourned date.
“In view of the issue, church and personalities in the matter, they shall be handed over to the three church members, who will also produce a bond of N350,000 each and a means of identification.”
The case was adjourned till March 3 for the hearing of the bail applications.
Zamfara cleric detained in Saudi for 3 years over mistaken case of trafficking regains freedom
An Islamic cleric, Ibrahim Ibrahim detained for three years over alleged drug trafficking has finally regained freedom from Saudi Arabian authorities.
Mr Ibrahim had faced drugs trafficking charges, following the discovery of some hard drugs planted into a luggage that was traced to him after his entry into the kingdom.
According to Section 1 of Act 37 of anti-drugs law of the kingdom, such offence, if found guilty, is punishable by death. Court documents sighted by this newspaper indicate that Mr Ibrahim was accused by Saudi authorities of trafficking of 1,497 red capsules carrying an (R) sign suspected to be Tramadol trafficked via Ethiopian Air Flight 402.
Upon the discovery of the bag in question, the documents stated that the Public Investigation and Prosecution Bureau, Jeddah, in conjunction with the Anti-drug Agency, also in Jeddah, then charged Mr Ibrahim for drug trafficking, an offence punishable by death.
This newspaper also reports that during the first trial, two of the kingdom’s lower courts had cleared the Islamic cleric of the said allegation, stressing that the office of the Prosecutor-General had failed to convince it beyond reasonable doubt.
Dissatisfied by the judgement, the Prosecutor-General appealed the ruling at a higher court, heard the matter and acquitted him on Tuesday (today). At the appeal court hearing today, Daily Nigerian gathered that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, and Zamfara State Government delegations arrived in Jeddah and presented to the Saudi court some documentary evidence in defence of Mr Ibrahim.
Some of the documents presented by the NIDCOM, it was gathered, included a written statement by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, stating that they had arrested and charged to court three persons who planted the drugs in Mr Ibrahim’s luggage.
NIDCOM also presented to the Saudi authorities a certified true copy of the two-count charge sheet from the Federal High Court sitting in Kano State. Subsequently, the Saudi court became convinced that Mr Ibrahim was only a victim of circumstance who had no intention of carrying drugs into the country.
Speaking to this newspaper, the lawyer to Mr Ibrahim, Abdullahi Bello, said the acquittal of his client was a result of prompt and diligent action by the Nigerian authorities.
The case of Mr Ibrahim is also similar to one Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student falsely accused of drug trafficking in the kingdom. Recall that On April 30 last year, Ms Aliyu was arrested on December 26, 2018, a day after her arrival in Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, following the discovery of luggage filled with drugs in her name.
Nigerian authorities later arrested and prosecuted the actual traffickers who tagged the contentious luggage in her name at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
Amaechi loses Chief Security Officer in Kaduna
The chief security officer to Rotimi Amaechi has died in Kaduna.
The officer, who was described as a senior intelligence personnel, died on Monday morning while on a trip with the transport minister. Peter Afunanya, chief spokesperson for the SSS, on Tuesday morning said that the officer was electrocuted at his hotel room.
“He died at his hotel during an electric accident,” Mr Afunanya said. His death occurred hours after reports said Mr Amaechi’s convoy was attacked in Kaduna while leaving from a train station to the city centre.
Mr Amaechi pushed back against the report on Twitter Sunday night, saying it was fake news as no attack on his convoy occurred.
A source close to Mr Amaechi also said the officer died at a hotel in a case of electrocution, dismissing strongly any insinuation that it was from an attack.
The source could not speak openly because he was not authorized by Mr Amaechi to speak on a matter that is being handled as sensitive. Mr Afunanya did not disclose the name of the hotel in Kaduna where the attack happened. But sources said it was from injuries he sustained from the attack.
Some of the sources include colleagues of the departed officer, although we have not been able to independently corroborate the official or private version of how the orderly died.
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