Hell was let loose again on Thursday at the Monument Gate of the Murtala Muhammmed Airport, MMA, Lagos as a staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, was rushed to the Air Force hospital after a vicious assault on him by a staff of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, attached to the same airport.
Trouble started when the Customs staff simply identified as H. Daboh who was in mufti attempted to access the Monument Gate through the exit thereby leading to gridlock on the road.
The battered FAAN staff, Mr. Taiwo Adeyanju who was in the company of some of his colleagues was actually on his way out of the Monument Gate at around 9:40am before he was attacked with teargas severally in the eyes by the Customs staff, Daboh for daring to challenge his wrong driving.
Eyewitness account stated that it took the intervention of some workers at the complex and the personnel of the Nigeria Police attached to the airport before Adeyanju could be successfully rescued from Daboh who rained several fixed blow attacks on his face and other parts of his body.
However, when Daboh realised the magnitude of his offence, he attempted to run away and drove directly to the office of the Customs at the airport, but he was given a hot chase by some workers at the airport.
Daboh was later arrested and taken to the police station at the airport where his senior officers intervened and ensured his released.
Our correspondent further gathered that Adeyanju was immediately rushed to the FAAN’s clinic at the airport where he was referred to the Air Force Hospital for better treatment as a result of the massive beating he received and teargas he received from Daboh.
In an interview with our correspondent at the Air Force Hospital, Adeyanju said the intention of the Customs officer was to blind him totally if not for the intervention of others at the venue of the incident.
At the Air Force hospital, our correspondent observed that Adeyanju’s car, a Volkswagen Gulf with the registration number Lagos: EPE 136 BK was partly damaged by the officer.
He said, “The Customs officer was in mufti when the incident happened this morning (yesterday). I was driving out of the Hajj and Cargo Terminal through the exit point when I saw a vehicle driving in through the exit point. I actually challenged him, but I was still inside the car and all of a sudden, the man I later gathered was a Customs officer came out and rained blows on me.
“As I making attempt to come out of the car, he held me by the neck and brought out a teargas and sprayed it directly into my eyes. It took the intervention of passers-by before I could be rescued from his grip. Later, he attempted to run away, but he was chased by some of my colleagues right into the Customs complex.”
Also, the Chief Cargo Officer of FAAN, Mr. Benson Oweka confirmed the incident in an interview with our correspondent at the hospital.
He said the department received a distress call that one of its staff was being beaten by Customs at the Monument Gate and before they could rush down to the place, Daboh had battered Adeyanju.
“When we got to the place of the incident, Daboh was in the company of his other Customs officer. He attempted to run away and drove to the Customs complex, but we caught up with him at the complex and he was later taken to the police station at the airport.”
Just last September, no fewer than five Aviation Security, AVSEC, were beaten to a pulp by the officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, for barring them from accessing the restricted areas of the airport without the required On-Duty-Cards, ODCs.
Also, June last year, another five FAAN staff were beaten by Customs officers at the terminal of the international wing of the Lagos Airport.
The then Chief Security Officer, Lagos Airport, Col. Carl Onalu, had said then that, “The customs men were entering the restricted areas of the airport. They were in uniform, but without reflective jackets and On-Duty-Card, ODC.
“Our officers said they will not allow them go to the air side without the appropriate uniform, which they resisted and descended on our men. The uniform does not grant you access to restricted areas of the airport.”