There was pandemonium at the airside of the Lagos airport on Friday as a yet-to-be-identified man mounted a moving Air Peace plane.
The man was later arrested by security operatives who were notified by the pilot of a private jet coming behind the Air Peace plane.
Airport sources could not immediately ascertain the reason for the man’s action.
Air Peace, however, said the man was a stowaway who thought the plane was heading overseas.
The airline in a statement said the suspect was being held by the industry regulator for further investigation.
The Air Peace statement read in part, “This morning, at exactly 9:10 at the MMA1 Lagos, an Owerri – bound Air Peace aircraft was taxing towards the threshold for take-off, when a man, in his twenties, emerged from the bush along the runway and tried to gain access into the aircraft through the wheel-well.
“There was a private jet behind the aircraft. The pilot-in-command of the private jet informed the Air Peace pilot-in-command that a young man obviously in his twenties, was trying to force his way into the aircraft.
“The security wing of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria was alerted and the man was accosted and whisked away. He is currently in the regulator’s custody. When interrogated on why he took the action, the man stated that he thought the aircraft was headed overseas.”
The General Manager, Public Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Henrieta Yakubu, did not pick her calls.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Airport Command, Mr. Joseph Alabi, said the command was still investigating the incident.
He promised to get back to our correspondent.
The incident happened barely six months after a madman found his way to the Lagos airport and climbed a Port Harcourt-bound Azman Airlines plane. The mentally ill man was later identified as Usman Adamu from Republic of Niger.
The Police said the Nigerien could not speak or understand English Language.
The authorities said then that investigation was still ongoing to ascertain how Adamu gained access to the heavily restricted area at the airport.
According to one of the Port Harcourt-bound passengers, Adamu was seen entering the fuselage of the aircraft with hand luggage and also climbing one of its wings.
He was later apprehended by Aviation Security Personnel of FAAN and taken to its detention facility before the case was transferred to the Police for further investigation.
Following the development, FAAN placed on indefinite suspension, the Aviation Security Unit heads who were on duty when the incident occurred.
Yakubu had in a statement said the agency viewed the breach as a serious security concern.
She said FAAN had begun an investigation to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident to forestall future occurrence.
The agency has yet to make public the report of its investigation.