Social media reports had claimed a bombing threat on the flight.
In a press statement, Marilyn Ogar, DSS’ Deputy Director for Public Relations, said that when the man, an Abuja interior decorator named Aminu S. Galadima boarded the flight, Airport Management was not informed as had previously been arranged.
Mr. Gladima had travelled to Maiduguri on October 19 with Hajia Yachilla Jidda, wife of the Secretary to the Borno State government, to do some 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 statement said.
Following an investigation, it was discovered that Mr. Galadima was in poor mental health, and arrangements were made for him to be returned to Abuja for treatment.
As it would turn out, terrible miscommunication then followed, leading to the lives of passengers being put in danger.
“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,” Ogar said.
Explaining that the clarification became necessary in order “to dispel the unfounded rumours concerning the flight,” she said Mr. Galadima is with the security forces.
She did not explain why he is not in a hospital.
Earlier today, the Ministry of Aviation told SaharaReporters there had been no threat to the Maiduguri-Abuja flight. That means it does not consider a “triggered-off” mentally-unstable passenger who had not been professionally handled a danger.
On their part, an Arik pilot on the flight said that the problem was only as “an unruly passenger who was high on drugs blabbing rubbish.”
Full 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