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statement, the Authority said the officers have refunded the money that was extorted and their duty cards have been withdrawn.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 who goes by the name, Imoteda, said on Twitter, that her child was extorted and left with no money to travel abroad.
She said: “My 14-year-old daughter is traveling 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 nairas 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?!
“Whoever was involved, you will die in penury! Your joy will turn to ashes! You will plant seeds and harvest thorns that will tear your flesh.”
On Friday however, the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said in a statement the officers have been caught and have refunded the money. Their duty cards have also been withdrawn.
“Following a tweeted allegation on February 19, 2022, by the mother of a 14-year-old-girl travelling on Lufthansa airline that two officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service extorted the sum of eight thousand naira from her daughter, a team of FAAN Aviation Security officers were 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. They are On Duty Cards were also withdrawn permanently, and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian airport, to serve as a deterrent to others.
“We would like to commend the mother of the child, who has confirmed receipt of the money, for deeming it fit to escalate the case, and assisting us tremendously in the course of our investigation. Also, we would like to express our appreciation to the Comptroller of Immigration, MMA, and her team for her cooperation and support in addressing this issue.
“The Authority will continue to identify and sanction any airport official (including FAAN officials) found to be extorting passengers or perpetuating any act of illegality at our airports,” FAAN said.
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 communicativthroughoutut 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
“In the interest of full disclosure I did ask for proof of action taken, an official letter or something, and haven’t gotten that yet but I am very happy still with the fact that they even paid attention. This is more than I’ve seen from most Nigerian entities and give me hope!”