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Federal Government has stated that it will henceforth penalize any airline whose staff, in collusion with baggage handlers, tag names of innocent travelers on bags containing illicit drugs on outbound flights.

Federal Government has stated that it will henceforth penalize any airline whose staff, in collusion with baggage handlers, tag names of innocent travelers on bags containing illicit drugs on outbound flights.


The warning was issued on recently by Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PASEDA), during a stakeholder meeting at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. Marwa said investigations had revealed that some innocent passengers have had luggage that does not belong to them tagged by airlines in their names leading to their arrest by security agencies on arrival at their destinations.
He said the move is necessitated by the high number of Nigerians languishing in foreign jails as well as the recent execution of a Nigerian woman for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia.
“What I said is real that some airline staff and some persons collude to check in and tag passengers name on baggage that they are unaware of and does not belong to them,” he said.
“We have a recent incident at the Kano Airport where a passenger was arrested in Saudi Arabia and he denied ownership of the bag.
“Through the Closed Circuit Television Camera at the Kano airport, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials discovered that he was innocent as the bag was checked in and tagged in his name by airline staff. “Henceforth, such airlines will be penalised once we discover that such a thing happened on their flight.” Meanwhile, there were strong indications that the Federal Government has opted to continue with the trial of the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
It was confirmed on Wednesday at the CCT that Onnoghen's lawyers have filed their final addresses while the prosecution team is expected to submit its final address.
After Justice Onnoghen's resignation, it was not immediately clear whether President Muhammadu Buhari would direct that his trial at the CCT be stopped. Although the President was said to be weighing options on the NJC's report, which made recommendations on Justice Onnoghen's future, his trial will be concluded. A government source said: “The government will not withdraw the case against Onnoghen in CCT in order not to set a bad precedent. “We want the case to run its lifespan for posterity and to avoid reading of political meanings into it. When this case started, there was much uproar, that it was politically motivated by the presidency. We want the tribunal to decide the case on merit.
“The NJC's report also did not say that the trial be halted. It only demanded the retirement of Onnoghen. This is why no directive has been given to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which is prosecuting the case, to withdraw the charges against the CJN. “There were moves to prevail on the President not to allow the CJN to be on trial in CCT. The first window came from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which sent a delegation to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The NBA team wanted soft-landing for Onnoghen. Some terms were agreed upon, including resignation or voluntary retirement by Onnoghen.
“The NBA team was mandated to prevail on him to quit honourably in view of some overwhelming allegations and investigative reports on him. The CJN, who was initially amenable to reconciliation, later backed out. “The second mediation was about another proposed confidential session between President Buhari and Onnoghen, which was facilitated by some highly-placed Nigerians. They wanted the President to hear from Onnoghen to pave the way for his quiet retirement from office without subjecting him to trial. “The CJN consented to the session with the President but he aborted it at the last minute without any justifiable cause.
“Onnoghen had over-relied on the outcome of NJC's investigation that it would be in his favour. He had no choice than to throw in the towel when the NJC advised Buhari to retire him. It was at this stage he chose to voluntarily leave office.”

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