The management of Nigeria’s largest carrier Arik Airways has refuted reports of a bomb scare on its flight from Maiduguri to Abuja this afternoon. The airline told aviation correspondents that it was preparing a statement to address the report.
It has not been independently confirmed that an unarmed man believed to have boarded the flight was detained at the Abuja airport by security operatives following an incident.
The Minister of Aviation has also debunked claims of a bomb scare:
See statement below:
"Alleged Bomb on Arik Flight a Hoax- Ministry
The rumour making the rounds of a bomb scare on an Arik Airline flight from Maiduguri to Abuja is absolutely false. In fact, it is a hoax as there is no iota of truth whatsoever in this wicked rumour.
A passenger, Aminu Galadima, an indigene of Minna, Niger state boarded a Maiduguri - Abuja bound Arik Air aircraft with registration number 5N MJE after going through all mandatory security screening. Nothing incriminating, no explosives or weapons whatsoever were found on him.
However, mid air the passenger began to act strangely, loudly screaming ''God is Great". Fellow passengers, alarmed by this behaviour rushed to apprehend him. A thorough search by fellow passengers and crew members revealed nothing dangerous on him. The pilot immediately radioed Air Traffic Control and airport security operatives.
The plane landed safely at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 1253 hrs and the suspect handed over to the SSS at about 1445 hrs where he is currently being interrogated.
We wish to reassure the flying public of the continued focus of the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the safety and security of the nation's airspace, while cautioning fellow Nigerians on the spreading of dangerous rumours. These rumours do not help to make our airspace either safer or more secure.
SA (Media) to Aviation Minister."