Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said important personalities who flout COVID-19 protocols or are unruly at the airport are liable to be imprisoned for a period of 2 months or more.
Sirika, responding to questions during the daily press briefing of the PTF COVID-19 said that the legal punishment for being unruly at the airport is an imprisonment of at least 2 months. He said this may rise to 10 years.
Recall that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) reported the violation of COVID-19 protocols by Zamfara State’s former Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and Adamawa State Governor, Ahmad Fintiri. Also fingered in displaying an unruly behaviour was Nduka Obaigbena, according to the Minister.
While he said he spoke to Yari at length on the issue, Sirika said they will investigate the reported individuals and if found wanting, they will be reported for perpetuating a criminal offense to the Police, and will ensure their prosecution. He said COVID-19 is a respecter of no class and disclosed they will be more than willing to prosecute any individual irrespective of their social class.
He explained what they describe unruly passengers as and said passengers who commits offenses at airports terminal or fail to adhere to airport officials’ instructions may be dubbed unruly.
Quoting appropriate laws to back his claim, he said “unruly passenger behaviour requires the punishment of criminal referral of imprisonment of 2 months or more.”
“We can refer VIPs to the Police and they’ll definitely be prosecuted,” he said.
“VIPs! Show that you are a VIP by conducting yourself in manners in which you want to be addressed.”
He said airports rules should be strictly followed and said “the airports are national security assets. They are the only borders that are border-less.”
“We are equal to the task, whoever is involved, we will deal with.
“We have cameras and we will investigate, and I’m sure every security agency at the airport has its own camera. Once we find you guilty, we will prosecute you.”