Following yesterday’s rumor that a man tried to bomb an Arik flight, the Department of State Service (DSS) has debunked the report, stating that the person in question was “mentally unstable”.
The story which circulated on several social media, had different versions with some saying they suspect the strange passenger was a member of a militant sect.
The DSS said it was imperative to release an official statement in order to stave needless panic from air travellers and the general public.
Below is a complete text of the press statement:
This is a brief highlight of the incident that occurred on the Arik Air flight from Maiduguri to Abuja.
On Friday, 19th October, 2012, Wife of the SSG to the Borno State Government, Hajia Yachilla JIDDA, travelled to Maiduguri in company of one Aminu S. GALADIMA, an interior decorator based in Abuja to do some interior decoration work. On arrival in Maiduguri, he was lodged at Greenland Hotel. During the course of his stay, he exhibited unusual behaviour by smashing a window, and ended up with lacerations on his hands.
The SSG was contacted, and in collaboration with the Hotel management, subject was taken to Atal Hospital, also in Maiduguri, where he received treatment. His family in Abuja was contacted and they gave confirmation that GALADIMA has been mentally unstable. In addition, his elder brother who lives in the UK was contacted and he requested that subject be returned to Abuja for medical attention.
On Sunday, 21st October, 2012, he was taken to the airport to be returned to Abuja, but missed the flight. However, the Airport management was informed of his state of health, and they advised that whenever his return is scheduled, the management should be notified.
Unfortunately, when GALADIMA was taken to the Airport on 23rd October for his return trip, the management of the Airport was not informed, and 10 minutes into the flight, due to slight turbulence, his condition was triggered off. Meanwhile, GALADIMA is in the custody of security forces.
This clarification has become necessary to dispel the unfounded rumours concerning the flight.
Marilyn OGAR, msi
Deputy Director, Public Relations
Department of State Services
23rd October, 2012