By Anthony Omo
Pathfinder employee was apprehended attempting to use a Ghana-bound passenger as a drug courier.
The incident occurred on January 16, 2024, at gate 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, ITZ2.
Approaching the passenger, the alleged instigator solicited help in transporting a parcel through his flight.
Growing suspicious the passenger raised an alarm, alleging a setup for drug trafficking.
This attracted the Crime Investigation and Intelligence Unit of the Aviation Security Services and the employee was arrested.
The incident, captured on video, depicted the passenger slapping the staff, causing a social media frenzy that initially pointed fingers at FAAN as the perpetrator. FAAN clarified that the manhandled officer was a Pathfinder company member, not affiliated with the agency.
The involved passenger has since departed on Ibom Air to Accra. Meanwhile, the medication, labeled “New Age Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate Complex,” has been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.
It has initially been reported that the employee was a FAAN member of staff (great reporting by the Nigerian copy and paste, without verification media) and this was quickly denied by FAAN in an official press release.
Later in the day the Pathfinders company issued the following statement:
Re- Airport Security Alert: Pathfinder Employee Detained Over Suspicious Parcel, not FAAN staff
The above subject refers.
Our attention has been drawn to the above write-up and a viral video involving an airport staff and a passenger.
Upon investigation, we discovered that the person in question is one of our staff who stated he was assisting a family relation in sending his personal medication to Accra. The medication is Glucosamine Chondroitin which has been confirmed by the NDLEA not to be a prohibited drug in Nigeria.
The mode of transportation is, however, totally against Pathfinders policy and Standard Operating Procedure and we condemn it in the strongest terms.
Even as investigation continues, the staff involved has been withdrawn from all Pathfinders operations pending the outcome of the investigation.
We wish to reiterate that the action of the staff is not in tandem with the operational policies and procedures of Pathfinders International as enshrined in our security programme and practice.
Chief Operating Officer
The staff member in question is in breach of protocols, he should be dismissed and blacklisted from working in aviation. The Pathfinder company cannot be held liable for every action of their individual staff members, however, they have acted with thorough professionalism and stood the staff member down from duty while a formal investigation is concluded; that said, this is a very straight forward issue. Pathfinders have acted swiftly should not be marred by this storm in a tea cup. Nigerian aviation has alot more issues to deal with at the moment that this staff breach. Hopefully the dismissal of this individual will send a strong message to the industry about how such issues should be dealt with.