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Airports lack security architecture to check drug cartels, says Dabiri-Erewa


Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Indicts Ethiopian, Egyptian airlines in Zainab’s arrest by S’Arabia

From the chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, yesterday came the damning verdict that the country’s airports lacked the requisite security infrastructure to check the activities of drug cartels, especially those that incriminate unsuspecting travelers.

Addressing an ad hoc committee on the plight of Zainab Habibu Aliyu, arrested by the Saudi police for alleged drug trafficking in Abuja, Dabiri-Erewa stated: “We are talking about scanners and customs, the thing is, are scanners at our airports even working? There is virtually no security surveillance in our airports.

“In moving forward, we just have to forget about blame game but work to ensure that we have proper security surveillance at our airports, CCTV cameras and all that.”


She indicted the Ethiopian and the Egyptian airlines over the lapses that culminated in the arrest of the Nigerians.

The chair continued: “Zainab and Ibrahim’s case was an insider job. There are people in there that are experts in doing this to other people’s bags. So where are they and who are they?”

“To start with, the airlines I am sorry to say, in most cases we investigated, only two airlines have been involved. They are Ethiopian Air and Egypt Air. Never Bellview, never Saudi Air, never KABO, never Emirates, no other airline.

“All the cases have either been Ethiopian Airline or Egypt Airline. So those two airlines have to ensure compulsory baggage identification, everybody going on that route, you must ensure every passenger identifies their bags.”

She further said: “There are cartels inside there working on these things.”

Dabiri-Erewa charged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the judiciary to fish out Zainab’s incriminators.

She pointed out that the expectation of Nigerians was for justice to be done in the case.

“We have to thank NDLEA for going deep into this matter and working with the father of Zainab to ensure this is done. I believe that this is something that will ginger all of us so that innocent people will not continue to suffer.”

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