Friday, September 11

Stowaway in Medview aircraft charged with attempted suicide

A 24-year-old man, Festus Chikeluba, alleged to have hidden inside an aircraft tyre compartment, on Friday appeared before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court charged with attempted suicide.

Chikeluba, unemployed, whose address was not provided, is facing a two-count charge of unlawful entry and attempted suicide.

The Prosecutor, Cpl. Michael Unah, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Sept. 8 at 7.30a.m., at the departure wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, Lagos.

Unah said that the accused unlawfully entered into the tyre compartment of a Med-view Airline without permission.

“He successfully hid in the tyre compartment in the under carriage of the aircraft without authorisation of the airline officials.
“He attempted to commit suicide by hiding in the tyre compartment of the aircraft designated to fly, which would have led to his death.”

Unah said that the accused was found by the pilot during his final flight check on the plane before its departure for Accra, Ghana.
“But luck ran out on him when a pilot caught him when he was doing the last inspection round the plane before take off.
“The pilot’s attention was drawn to some strange movement and object inside the tyre compartment.”

The prosecutor said that the accused made a confessional statement to the police that he did what he did out of desperation to leave the country in the quest for greener pastures.

“The accused said that he was tired of the country and needed to relocate and that was why he jumped over the fence that demarcated the VIP Lounge section of the airport from the tarmac where the plane was parked.

According to the prosecutor, the stowaway thought that the plane was bound for either the United Kingdom or the U. S.
The offence, Unah said, contravened Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Section 233 prescribes a life jail term as penalty for offenders.
However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Gbajumo, granted the accused N50,000 bail with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case till 30 Sept. for mention.

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