Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission has denied saying Egypt Air and Ethiopian Airlines run a drug cartel in Nigeria.
Reports had emanated from some media houses (Aledeh not included) about Dabiri-Erewa telling the Senate in a public hearing that both airlines have to be more rigorous and circumspect in their identification of baggage as the cases of drug trafficking have been from them.
The Senate Committee, chaired by Kabiru Gaya had called on Dabiri-Erewa to brief them on the situation of Zainab Aliyu who was arrested in Saudi for an alleged drug trafficking. Saudi authorities had found packs of tramadol in Aliyu’s bag.
The Nigerian government helped secure her release after investigation revealed her innocence.
In a statement by Abdur-rahman Balogun, Dabiri’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, he said;
“The attention of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has been drawn to some news headlines accusing some foreign airlines of running drug cartels in the country.
“The headline which reads “Egypt, Ethiopian Airlines Running Drug Cartels in Nigeria” says Dabiri-Erewa, is a figment of the Reporter’s imagination.
“Dabiri-Erewa had during the hearing stressed the need for those two airlines to ensure compulsory baggage identification as all cases recorded on issue of drugs had been from both airlines.
“Luckily enough, the representative of Ethiopian Air, who was at the public hearing, promised that baggage identification would be strengthened.”