Thursday, 14 March 2013

Robbery, Shooting Reported At International Airport, Lagos

The international wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos was in total chaos on Wednesday. By the time the dust settled three policemen attached to the airport command of the Nigeria Police had fallen to the bullets of some gunmen who invaded the nation's busiest international airport.

An eyewitness who was at the airport at the time of the incident around 7:30pm said that the armed robbers numbering over 10 came into the airport through the terminal zero and proceeded straight into the arrival and departure halls of the terminal.

The source further noted that on entering the terminal, the armed robbers ordered all the users of the airport to lie down while those who refused to comply were shot.

The robbery incident, which happened at the busiest period of the day, saw many passengers, both departing and arriving, sustaining different degrees of injuries as they scampered to safety.

Another Eyewitnesses who spoke with Nigerian Compass under the condition of anonymity said the robbers, numbering about 10, arrived the airport on motorbikes and cars and went straight into the public car park located about 200 meters away from the terminal building and started to shoot sporadically to scare away any possible resistance as they made for the offices of Bureau de Change operators operating illegally in the car park. The situation was also compounded by the black out that enveloped the entire car park as there was no light to electricity to power the street lights installed there.

Among the passengers was the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi II who had to also take refuge in the terminal building, A protocol officer of Addax Oil Company identified as Chike who was one of those shot by the robbers was reportedly taken to a hospital in an ambulance after the armed robbers had left the airport. The policemen faced the armed men who were advancing into the terminal building. In the process, three of the policemen fell to the bullets of the men of underworld.

When contacted, the General Manager Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati who confirmed the incident in a text message sent to our correspondent said that the robbery attack took place at Ikeja near the perimeter fence of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

According to him,‘‘There was an exchange of fire which resulted in the death of one of the robbers. The level of causality is being ascertained. The situation has since been brought under control by the swift intervention of joint security force.’’

‘‘They were apparently attempting to rob a bureau-de-change near the airport. Normal operations and flight have not been affected by the incident’’ Dati affirmed.

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