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Friday, June 22, 2012
Arik flight delayed for 30 mins in the Air as Airspace was shut for VIP
Popular lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, has demanded that the federal government reveal the identity of the VIP whose movement caused a partial closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, last Tuesday.
Falana, who was on an Arik Air Flight W3 271, said the plane stayed in the air for an extra 30 minutes after it approached Abuja from Lagos because the airspace was closed.
“Having regards to the June 3, 2012 Dana plane crash in Lagos, which killed all the 153 passengers and crew on board, as well as 10 other persons in their homes, I was subjected to unwarranted mental and psychological torture,” he said. “Most other passengers on board were equally traumatised as the Arik plane was forced to hover in the air for 25 minutes.
When the plane eventually landed, I was reliably informed that there had been a restriction of movement at the airport for over one hour. In the process, the fundamental right of hundreds of people to freedom of movement was violated by the airport authorities at the instance of the said Very Important Personality.”
In a letter he sent to the Ministry of Aviation, Falana demanded to know the identity of the said VIP so as to enable him institute legal action against the person. “In the light of the foregoing I am compelled to request you to furnish me with the name of the said Very Important Personality to enable me to sue him for endangering the lives of over 150 passengers,” the letter read.
This request, he said, is made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 which has imposed a duty on all public officers to make requested information available to members of the public.
“Take notice; that if you fail or refuse to accede to my request within seven days of the receipt of this letter, I shall not hesitate to apply for an order of mandamus at the Federal High Court with a view to compelling you to disclose the identity of the said Very Important Personality forthwith,” he stated.