Arik Drug Arrest: Expert Queries NCAA Inaction In 2011 | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Arik Drug Arrest: Expert Queries NCAA Inaction In 2011

Posted: Sep 5, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Asks Regulatory Body To Bar Airline Owing Salaries

Stories by Abel Orukpe, 



An Aviation Security Expert, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd), has demanded to know the action the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) took when Arik Air crew was first arrested with drugs in 2011.

His comment is coming on the heels of the reactions that trailed the arrest of an Arik Air cabin crew, Mr. Chika Ugwu Udensi, in Heathrow, London in the United Kingdom for allegedly being in possession of 20 kilogramme of cocaine.

Ojikutu, who said this while speaking on a Ray Power radio programme, ‘Fact File’ described the action of Arik Air crew as not only a stain on the airline but also on the entire country.

He pointed out that every airline has security programme, which according to him, should be reviewed from time to time in line with present realities.

“Every airline has a security programme that should be reviewed from time to time. The arrest of Arik Air crew is not only a stain on the airline but also a stain on the country. It has to do with how we regulate our airlines. What did NCAA do when the airline’s cabin crew member was first arrested for drug trafficking in 2011? He queried.

Ojikutu stated that the action that NCAA took when the airline crew  was arrested in 2011 matters a lot, adding that if the regulatory body had directed the airline to review its security programmers, perhaps this recent arrest would not have happened.

NCAA, he stated should had directed Arik Air management to review its security programme, when the airline’s crew was  first arrested four years ago, adding that up till now it is only NCAA that can say what action it took then.

Reacting to a comment that Arik Air owed its staff three or two months as alleged in some quarters, the Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Securities, stated that NCAA should not  allow any airline owing its staff three or two months salaries to operate.

He said that allowing any airline owing its staff salaries to fly amount to toying with safety, adding that safety is not only in the air but also on the ground.

The security expert pointed out that when workers are owed salaries, these workers may want to result to other means to make ends meet, calling on the NCAA to act now.

He blamed security agencies at the various airports for only focusing their attention on the passengers when it comes to security checks, thereby leaving those workers within the aircraft such as air hostesses, pilots, in-flight caterers and others.

Recalled that in December 2011, one of the airline cabin crew, Ms. Chinwendu Uwakaonyenma Ogbonnaya, was arrested in London for drug trafficking.

She was subsequently jailed for five years in London.