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20.01.2021 news FRSC, FAAN Officials have Mastered the Art of Swindling Lagos Airport Users — Here’s How They Do It!

Published 20th Jan, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

Patrick Nwafor has narrated how FRSC and FAAN officials set him up at the airport and defrauded him of N10,500.

At about 7pm on Tuesday, January 5, Patrick was at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport to pick up her sister who was arriving from Dublin, Ireland.

Trouble started when he asked an FRSC official for the way to arrivals and he was directed to the new arrival park.

The new arrival park was dark, but Patrick thought there had been yet another power outage.

“As normal Naija now, I felt ‘NEPA’ just did their thing as usual,” he said.

Some men dressed in the blue workshop gear of mechanics were at one side of the park entrance. The men, according to Patrick, were fixing what looked like a damaged car.  

After driving into the park, another FRSC official told him that the new arrival was no longer in use and that he should turn back. Patrick obliged, but only to find the same gate he passed while entering now closed.

The ‘mechanic-looking’ men jumped on the road and ordered him out of his car.

“As a calm guy,” Patrick said, “I explained that an FRSC official directed me wrongly and his colleague had corrected me”.

But the men didn’t look like they were ready for chats. Within seconds, one of them was driving a tow vehicle towards Patrick’s car while others clamped his tyres.

Na 50k if we tow this car” .

“But there was no sign that it was a one-way,”a frustrated Patrick protested.

One of the men announced that Patrick had to follow them to their office. It became clear at that point that no amount of argument would change their resolve to get a slice of his pocket. 

Patrick’s sister had arrived the country and would be ready for pick-up in 10 minutes. Not to keep her waiting, he quickly drummed to the men’s lyrics.

“I will follow behind you,” he told them. But they insisted one of them had to drive his car.

He was driven to a one-room office in a deserted area near the airport toll gate, where officials collected his car key and asked him to pay N10,500.

He agreed to pay via mobile transfer, but the officials insisted on getting the money in cash.

“They said they only take cash, and then directed me to a young man whose account I could transfer to with extra N300. The man was to pay me back in cash, with which I would pay the fine.”

After the whole transaction, Patrick was given a receipt he said bore no name of a government agency but one Bilafary Enterprises Nigeria Limited.

Patrick also revealed that twelve other people who had fallen prey to the same trap were at the one-room office with him.

Commenting on the new development at the airport, Patrick wrote on Twitter: “First, they mislead you, then, they guide you, then, these boys catch you before you can even say Jack!”

In reactions to the story on the social media, several users claimed to have had similar experiences.

In a chat with FIJ, a lady, Simi Ajana, said: “It had been a long time since I went to the airport. On descending the departure, I saw vehicles parked on the left. It was close to the arrivals so I thought it was the entrance. There was a barricade, but it was open, so I drove in, past security men in blue uniform.

“After I dropped off my mum and had started reversing, a taxi driver told me the place was only meant for hire cars and that I couldn’t park. I said I wasn’t parking. On getting back to the barricade, I found out that it had been closed and the security men told me to get down from my car. These were people who didn’t tell me anything when I drove in.

“They said I should sort them out or they would take me to their office. When I refused to sort them as demanded, one of them drove my car to the FAAN office along the road. A man in lemon jacket came out from a tow vehicle at the office and drove my car to a hidden security office in front of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).”

Officials at the hidden FAAN office Credit: Simi Ajana

Enroute the office, the FAAN official who refused to name the lady’s offence demanded for N50,000, which he later cut to N25,000, N10,800, and finally N5,500 after much argument.

Simi got back his car key after payment was made and receipt issued in the name of Bilafary Enterprises Nigeria Limited, but three hours of her time had been wasted.

Simi’s 5,500 naira payment receipt

When a similar script played out for Fortune, a young Nigerian, he told the officials that he would leave the car at the airport and the military officer that owned it would pick it up himself.

“I showed them pictures of my ‘Air Force uncle’ and they let me be,” he said.

Fortune had gone to the airport to drop off a friend when he entered the web of greedy FAAN officials.

Messages sent to social media handles of FAAN and FRSC for comments were not replied. However, a Linkedin search showed one Olanrewaju Falekulo as Managing Director at Bilafary Enterprises Nigeria Limited.

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Published 20th Jan, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

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