An all-female crew of Air Peace has foiled an attempted trafficking of a three-day old baby to Lagos from Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA).
The all-female crew which consisted of Captain Sinmisola Ajibola, Senior First Officer Onohi Agboighale, Mojoko Ewane, Taiye Abbey, Victoria Ukpiaifo and Ngozi Ezeamaka stopped a middle-aged woman, who with her collaborators were planning to traffic the baby boy through thr Port Harcourt Airport to Lagos.
The suspect who booked a Port Harcourt-Lagos flight was questioned by Mojoko Ewane, the lead member of the crew when she observed the awkward manner the former was handling the baby. When questioned, the suspect claimed the baby was three days old but later contradicted herself when she said the baby was born on January 5, a day before her trip was aborted.
When the crew informed her of the standard procedure which barred them from allowing passengers fly with a week-old baby on grounds of health, the suspect claimed to be a nurse and insisted that the baby’s health would not be jeopardised. The airline, it was gathered, later invited personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) at the Port Harcourt Airport to take over the case for further investigation.
“A call was later placed to the contact numbers the suspect said belonged to her husband and the doctor who handled the birth of the child. While the alleged husband claimed that his wife was actually pregnant, the alleged doctor’s number rang unanswered. When the suspect was asked to breastfeed the baby, she could not as there was no breast milk. The suspect tried to create a scene, rallying other passengers on the flight to prevail on Air Peace crew to allow her fly, but the crew stood their ground.”
Chris Iwarah, the airline’s Corporate Communications manager who confirmed the incident on Wednesday, said the airline was proud that the crew professionally carried out their responsibility to ensure passengers’ safety and also help government to fight crime.
In the meantime, the suspect, who claimed a lady gave her the baby has since been transferred to the zonal office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for further investigation.