A suspected underground cable thief has been arrested around the perimeter fence of Murtala Mohammed international airport in Lagos by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says security operatives.
Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, FAAN director of public affairs and consumer protection, in a statement, said the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday.
Yakubu-Funtua said guards on duty at the Nigerian Air Force base saw three persons digging the underground cable and approached them, adding that when the guards approached the scene, the thieves fled.
He further said while the suspects were fleeing, a security guard opened fire and shot one of them identified as Usman Musa.
“At about 01:35hrs on July 21, 2023, the guards on duty at the Nigerian Air Force HQ NADC gate halted three cable thieves along the airport road by NADC perimeter fence who were sighted digging the FAAN underground armoured cable with the aid of a digger, shovel and cutlass,” the statement reads.
“On sighting the guards, they took to their heels. A guard, however, opened fire on them, aiming at the shoulder of Usman Musa.
“Usman Musa, 28 years old, a native of Adamawa state, residing at Ijora sustained gunshot wounds. He was subsequently arrested and taken to 661NAFH Ikeja.
“He is presently receiving treatment at General Hospital Oyingbo while his other two accomplices escaped. Usman Musa will be properly interrogated after he has stabilised.”
The incident comes days after thieves carted away the recently installed airfield ground lighting systems at the domestic runway (18L/36R) of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).
“The authority believes that this incident could be a relevant clue to unravelling the theft of the runway Lighting at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja,” the statement added.
The runway lights help pilots to do landing and take off safely at night, or in low visibility conditions.