The Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 has given its own version of the incident that saw a staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) receive serious injuries, claiming that the victim got what he deserved because he broke the law.
Shuaibu, who was allegedly tortured by some officers of the Air Force at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, on Sunday is alleged to have attempted to use his position to outsmart the officers and break the law, prompting the military men to take laws into their hands.
The Command Public Relations Officer, of the Logistics Command, Nigerian Air Force, Joel Abioye, responding to the issue said, “The incident happened at the Departure wing of the International Airport, Ikeja, on Sunday when one Muhammed Shuaibu, a protocol officer with FAAN confronted our men on duty for challenging him for parking in a wrong place, thereby obstructing free flow of traffic.
“This same man had earlier been cautioned to stop allowing motorists park indiscriminately for security reason. He was instructed to move his vehicle to the designated car park at the airport.
“He, however, refused, claiming that he was a member of staff of FAAN. He is a protocol officer and I expect him to know better, considering the security challenges in the country.
“Shuaibu struggled with our men and acted violently in an attempt to retrieve the number plate of his vehicle that was removed, which is a usual practice to serve as deterrent to other motorists who park indiscriminately.
“Contrary to the report that he was beaten to a coma, it was in his attempt to retrieve his number plate that he sustained injury in his nostrils. He was later taken to the 445 NAF Hospital, Ikeja, for medical treatment before he discharged himself on Monday.
“However, a thorough investigation will be carried out and if any of our men is found culpable, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against them as the Nigerian Air Force does not condone any act of indiscipline and brutalisation of innocent citizens.”
According to The Punch , Shuaibu, claimed that his friend had come to the airport to pick him up when the air force officers on duty at the time removed the vehicle’s number plate.
He said, “It was on Sunday and a friend of mine came to pick me. Before he even got there, I was already waiting for him. As I got out, I discovered, the officers had removed his number plate. It was a common practice at the airport to extort strangers who did not know the rules.
“I went to meet them and identified myself as a FAAN official. But they said it was none of their business. I told the driver to let us go, that I would get it later. But he said he would not go because he could be arrested by the police.
“I went to meet them again and begged. They said if I didn’t leave the place, they would shoot me. One of them suddenly came from behind to attack me. He hit me with the butt of his gun and others joined him. They did not stop until I became unconscious.”