Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja Police Command on Tuesday debunked the claim that one of its officers, Insp. Matthew Esan, was involved in human trafficking at the airport.
The spokesperson for the command, DSP Joseph Alabi, who made the denial while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, maintained that Esan’s arrest was carried out in error by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Alabi said investigations by the command showed that the officer was arrested by overzealous NAPTIP operatives while carrying out his legitimate duties at the airport terminal.
He said:” On June 9, 2018, at about 7.30pm, one Insp. Matthew Esan attached to Airport Police Command, Ikeja, while on duty at MMIA departure hall, received one Henry who claimed he was sent to him.
“While trying to get acquainted with the said person, some men who were later discovered to be NAPTIP operatives descended on him, and seized his phone as well as police Identity Card.
“The officer was later told that he was among a syndicate trafficking young Nigerians to the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia and was later taken to the NAPTIP office alongside some other arrested persons and 10 rescued youths.
However, Alabi said following the intervention of the command, Esan was released on Monday after the arrested persons confirmed that they did not know him.
“The command wishes to reassure Nigerians that we will continue to work with NAPTIP and other sister agencies towards tackling human trafficking and other criminal activities within the airport environment.
“We also want to assure passengers and other airport users that the command is committed to their safety and security at all times,” he said.