Barely a month after the international wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport suffered the loss of almost all its lighting cables to yet-to-be-identified perpetrators, airport authorities have caught another cable thief in the act.
According to reports, vigilant guards on duty at the Nigeria Air Force headquarters gate managed to apprehend one of the three culprits as he attempted to dig up the underground armoured cable at the airport. Regrettably, the other two thieves managed to escape, leaving behind a trail of suspicion and concern.
Confirming this latest incident, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) issued a statement through its Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua.
He said: “AT about 01:35hrs on July 21, 2023, the guards on duty at the Nigeria Airforce HQ NADC gate halted three cable thieves along the airport road by NADC perimeter fence who were sighted digging the FAAN underground armoured cable with the aid of a digger, shovel and cutlass.
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“On sighting the guards, they took to their heels. A guard however opened fire on them, aiming at the shoulder of Usman Musa. Usman Musa, 28 years old, a native of Adamawa State, residing at Ijora sustained gunshot wounds. He was subsequently arrested and taken to 661NAFH Ikeja.
“He is presently receiving treatment at General Hospital Oyingbo while his other two accomplices escaped. Usman Musa will be properly interrogated after he has stabilised.”
The Authority however believed that this incident could be a relevant clue to unravelling the earlier theft of the Runway Lighting at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport recently.
Recalled that the earlier theft of cable lighting worth several millions of naira at the airport recently led to the suspension of 10 senior officials at the various relevant departments of FAAN while the permanent secretary at the ministry of aviation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole directed a committee set up to investigate the theft.