Pathfinders International Limited, an indigenous aviation services company in Nigeria, has suspend one of its staff for attempting to assist a family relation in sending his personal medication to Accra, Ghana from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA.
According to signed by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Fred Omosebi, the action of the employee is not in tandem with the policy of the firm, noting that the mode of transportation is totally against Pathfinders policy and Standard Operating Procedure.
He however said the medication, Glucosamine Chondroitin which has been confirmed by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, is not a prohibited drug in Nigeria.
“Our attention has been drawn to the above write-up and a viral video involving an airport staff and a passenger.
Upon investigation, we discovered that the person in question is one of our staff who stated he was assisting a family relation in sending his personal medication to Accra. The medication is Glucosamine Chondroitin which has been confirmed by the NDLEA not to be a prohibited drug in Nigeria.
The mode of transportation is, however, totally against Pathfinders policy and Standard Operating Procedure and we condemn it in the strongest terms.
Even as investigation continues, the staff involved has been withdrawn from all Pathfinders operations pending the outcome of the investigation.
We wish to reiterate that the action of the staff is not in tandem with the operational policies and procedures of Pathfinders International as enshrined in our security programme and practice.”
Similarly, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has distanced itself from the video circulating on social media, alleging that the man is a staff of the Airport Authority.
FAAN in a statement signed by the Director Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah (Mrs), said the officer being manhandled in the video is not one of its staff.
She said, “The attention of the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN has been drawn to a video circulating on social media where a supposed staff of the Authority was knelt down and was being slapped by a passenger for trying to use him to traffic drug.
It has been identified that the incident took place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at about 1430hrs at gate 2 boarding gate at ITZ2.
“The Authority wishes to set the records straight by stating that the officer being manhandled in the video is not a staff of FAAN. He has been identified as a member of the staff of Pathfinder company. The employee was said to have approached a passenger to help him convey a parcel through the flight.
“When the passenger became skeptical, he raised an alarm, alleging that he was being set up for drug trafficking. The employee was immediately arrested for questioning by the Crime Investigation and Intelligence Unit of the Aviation Security Services.
“The passenger involved has since departed on Ibom Air to Accra while the medication with the name “New Age Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate Complex ” has been taken to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) for further investigation.
“FAAN is dedicated to a drug-free society and has zero tolerance to drug peddling through her airports.”
However, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
(NDLEA), said it has uncovered tramadol in a parcel entrusted to the suspended Pathfinder staff member at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
According to radionigerialagos.gov.ng, NDLEA spokesman Mr. Femi Babafemi, said a test carried out by the agency revealed that the package, initially believed to contain dietary supplements, held both calcium carbonate and tramadol.
He said, the suspect faces official transfer to the NDLEA for further scrutiny, with the quantity of tramadol to be disclosed after a thorough investigation.