Regulatory authorities in the aviation sector have commenced investigation of another stowaway on Med-View Airlines’ Lagos-London flight.The stowaway, Emmanuel Ugochukwu, hid in the front wheel of the commercial flight, travelling unnoticed from Lagos to London and back to Lagos last weekend. It was, however, a mystery that Ugochukwu was recovered alive and well too, after over 12 hours in the air.
The airline confirmed the incident, saying the appropriate authorities were investigating the matter.Its spokesperson, Oyibotha Obuke, said the development was quite disturbing for all parties and in effect, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that manages the airport and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) were looking into it.
General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the investigation is aimed at identifying what went wrong and the contributing factor to prevent a future reoccurrence.
He told The Guardian that the probe might take awhile, since all relevant agencies would have to be summoned, including the airline that has the responsibility to ensure safety.
Also, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the investigation, adding that their findings would be made public in due course.
Adurogboye noted: “Safety of an aircraft lies more with the owner than with anyone else. As an owner, you have the 100 per cent responsibility for safety. Because, before take off, you have to ensure that everything is intact.
“So, there is no room for bulk passing in this matter. Nevertheless, every agency involved still has to account for its roles, so as to learn lessons and prevent the issue from repeating itself.”
Last November, a dead body was found on an Arik plane last after it landed at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport from Lagos.The corpse, apparently a stowaway, was discovered in the A330-200 commercial aircraft’s wheel by South African engineers during inspection.In the last five years, there have been reports of dead Nigerian stowaways in planes operating locally and internationally.