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Plane Diversion: United Nigeria Airlines suspended

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has suspended all foreign lease aircraft under United Nigeria Airlines hours after the airline operator diverted its Lagos-Abuja en-route flight to Asaba.

A United Nigeria Airline flight NUA0504, operating from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos en route to Abuja, landed at Asaba International Airport in Delta State.

The development, shocking to passengers, was said to be due to poor destination weather in the nation’s capital.

But, aviation experts nullified this claim, saying that weather reports are released to pilots or airlines every 30 minutes.

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The airline maintained that at all material time, the aircraft’s pilot was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed.

However, a report emerged that all the wet lease aircraft under United Nigeria Airlines have been suspended.

It was gathered that immediately the incident gained traction on social media on Sunday, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Capt. Musa Nuhu called an emergency meeting of the agency, where it was resolved that the excuse given by the airline was not tenable to the authority.

A former Director General of the Agency, Benedict Adeyileka also confirmed the development shortly after the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, called upon the heads of aviation regulatory bodies to address safety issues within the sector.

“I just confirmed that their sub-Part G of their AOC is suspended. This means all their foreign registered aircraft are on subpart G,” he told journalists.

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“If you take the flight from Lagos to Abuja, the Captain is supposed to announce that it is landing in Asaba for whatever reason, but that was not the case.

“The director of the NCAA has the power to suspend that operation pending the investigation on the matter”.

According to the source, all the wet-leased aircraft in the airline’s operations would remain suspended pending the outcome of an investigation on the Sunday incident, involving one of the wet-leased aircraft in the airline’s fleet.

No fewer than two wet-leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft are in the fleet of United Nigeria Airlines.

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FAAN reopens Lagos airport runway after Dana Air incident

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has announced the reopening of Runway 18L/36R at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, following a temporary closure caused by a Dana Air plane skidding off the runway on Tuesday

This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah, on Wednesday.

The statement read, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is pleased to notify the public and all stakeholders that Runway 18L/36R was reopened for flight operations at 19:58hrs.

“This development follows the earlier closure of the runway this morning due to an incident involving a Dana Air aircraft, with registration number 5N-BKI, which overshot the runway during its landing sequence.

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“Prompt actions were taken by our emergency response team to evacuate and recover the aircraft from the site. Subsequently, comprehensive clearing operations were conducted to ensure the runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris that could impede flight safety, Orah added.

According to the statement, the FAAN Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency have jointly inspected the runway surface and deemed it safe for the resumption of operations.

FAAN acknowledged that the area affected by the overshoot was significantly muddy, necessitating extensive cleaning efforts to restore safety.

“A concerted effort was made for the thorough and efficient cleaning of the area to facilitate the swift resumption of operations on Runway 18L/36R,” she said.

Orah apologised for any inconvenience caused, stating, “Ensuring the safety and security of our passengers, staff, and airport operations remains our top priority.

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“FAAN is committed to providing a safe, secure, and efficient air transport environment for all users of our airports.

“FAAN wishes to express its gratitude to the travelling public, our airline partners, and all stakeholders for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the temporary closure. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused,” the statement read.

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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Lagos police arrest suspected cable vandal

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Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a suspected electricity cable vandal.

The suspect, simply identified as Abu Ali, aged 35, was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Pen Cinema Division at about 1 am when motorists alerted the state police command of the suspect’s activity.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a statement on his X handle, @BenHundeyin, on Tuesday morning.

He noted that the suspect had been arrested and will be prosecuted.

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The statement read, “At about 1 am, officers from Pen Cinema Division responded to calls from motorists that somebody was sighted cutting cables.

“Abu Ali, aged 35 was arrested at Ode Aran bus stop, Ogba, with vandalized cables.

“Prosecution follows.”

Recall that in February 2024, the Lagos State Police Command arrested one Chris Abu and Paul Philip for allegedly vandalising electricity cables belonging to the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

Theheute gathered that the incident occurred on February 18, 2024, at about 2:30 pm.

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A police source told our correspondent that a distress call was received from the Lagos State Electricity Board in Ikeja about the activities of vandals who specialise in vandalising electricity and armoured cables.

The source added that police officers went to the scene immediately and two males were arrested.

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