Air Peace Airline, on Wednesday, said one of its passengers, Samuel Paul, was arrested by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), for assaulting an official of the airline at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA).
In a press statement by the airline, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP, Air Peace said its 19:20 Lagos-Abuja flight was delayed due to tenable unforeseen operational concerns.
According to him, the passenger, however, suddenly became uncontrollably irate, assaulting the airline’s boarding officer and incited other passengers to invade the airfield even when aircraft to lift them was not yet on ground.
The statement reads, “We have noticed a certain video portraying Air Peace in a bad light on social media and it has become imperative that we clear the air and correct the impressions created.
“The passengers in the video were supposed to be on a 19:20 Lagos-Abuja flight(September 28) but consequent upon tenable unforeseen operational concerns, the flight was delayed. We put 46 of them on a flight that departed at 19:16, leaving behind 46 passengers. The delay was professionally communicated to the passengers and we apologised for the delay and inconveniences.
“However, a certain male passenger, Paul Samuel, who suddenly became uncontrollably irate, assaulted our Boarding Officer. This was clearly unnecessary and despicable. We were about distributing refreshments in consonance with NCAA regulations but Paul’s action disrupted the process and noise erupted from different quarters while he incited other passengers against the airline.
“FAAN security was notified as the passengers were now trying to gain entrance to the airfield even when the aircraft was not yet on ground. FAAN security was compelled to lock the Boarding Gate to prevent the passengers from going to the airfield, a highly regulated part of the airport.”
Air Peace, which said it apologised to the passengers over the inconveniences experienced, added that the arrest of the passengers by FAAN securitymen were in line with their standard operating procedures.
“At 22:35, we called for boarding for the remaining 46 passengers. Due to his violent behaviour, Paul was arrested by FAAN Security. The action was taken in the best interest of the passengers and the airline.
“Also, the lady, Okoroafor Rita, who recorded the video being circulated, without the consent of those being recorded, was arrested by FAAN Security. FAAN Security repeatedly told her to stop recording but she did not.
“These arrests made some other passengers become unruly but with reinforcement from FAAN Security, the situation was managed, and the remaining passengers were able to board,” it stated.