FOI: Who Is The VIP Who Shut Down Abuja Airport June 19, Femi Falana Queries Aviation Minister

Femi Falana-Photo: New York Times
By SaharaReporters, New York

Human rights lawyer and advocate, Mr. Femi Falana, has written to the Minister of Aviation under the Freedom of Information (FOI) law to request the name of the Very Important Personality (VIP) who prevented his Arik Air flight into Abuja on June 19 from landing as scheduled.  

The information is to enable him file a lawsuit against the individual for endangering the lives of the over 150 passengers on board.

In the request, Mr. Falana said the flight,  which was scheduled to land at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja at 11.15 am,  was illegally prevented from landing by the Airport Authorities  until 11.46 am due to the alleged "movement of a Very Important Personality".

“Having regard to the June 3, 2012 Dana plane crash in Lagos which killed all the 153 passengers and crew on board as well 10 other persons in their homes  I was subjected to unwarranted mental and psychological torture. Most other passengers on board were equally traumatised as the ARIK plane   was forced to hover in the air for 25 minutes,” the letter said.

He noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had travelled to Brazil the previous day, while Vice President Namadi Sambo was attending an emergency meeting with the country's security chiefs at the time.

“When the plane eventually landed I was reliably informed that there had been a restriction of movement at the airport for over one hour,” Mr. Falana said.  “In the process the fundamental right of hundreds of people to freedom of movement was violated by the Airport Authorities at the instance of the said Very Important Personality.”

Under the provisions of the FOI, the Minister has seven days of receiving the letter to provide the requested information, or face legal proceedings.

104 comment(s)
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Mr. Anonymous (FOOL)

This Anonymous person, why can't you just show your identity?
You are definitely a coward for saying those unnecessary words.
If you do not have anything than that rubbish to say, why can't you just blow a whistle!
Femi Falana (y)


You are just a fool,Idiot,Oloshi,monkey,animal..infact,all ds r understatement compared to wht I think you wonder d idiots in government see u as commoners when you already condemned yourself to be so..


will somebody pls ask Mr OC to shut up,if he doesnt av any concrete thing to say.Where in d world are planes restricted 4rm landing bcos of a VIP.I was a victim 2 dis madness in 2003,whn our flight was held up 4 25mins bcos of a VIP.Dat we were frightened out of our skins is an undastatement.Thank God 4 pple like Falana who av decided 2 take d guntlet 2 stop dis callousness.

This happens all the time!

This happens all the time! Femi Falana fight these irresponsible rogues for us. If I were on that plane I would probably have had a heart attack with the Dana crash still so fresh on our minds. Wicked, selfish, plebian idiots. Conscienceless, VERY IMMORAL PEOPLE. They are VIP's

I share her views.

When foreigners starts advising you, you know you have serious problems.

These are not issues town hall meetings can solve, e don reach so tey Oyibo don join dey blast una. Shame on you

R u a commedian?

Whoeva did dis write up has the tendencies 4a being a laughable &
Unserious person. Would like to see him joke when he's left in d air 4 sum VIP since he doesn't mind sacrificing 4 dem

shut up

Instead of you to commend the effort of this man, you are been a fool.. imagine if u were on that plane and you spent about 25 min hovering around the air knowing what happened to dana flight.. be realistic and shut up if u don't have anything to say.

Femi, Please get a conclusive end to this

Hi stella, please respond to this immediately. Ensure you copy me the response.

I commend u

I commend your efforts and support your course all the way. Justice! Is what I & millions of Nigerians seek

Femi stop pretending. we have

Femi stop pretending. we have in nigeria. dont be jealous. by the way how many of you were on the plane? just 150, imagine that you are t
he vip. will you sacrifice your safety because of 150 commoners? femi wake up this is nigeria.

Femi stop pretending. we have

Femi stop pretending. we have in nigeria. dont be jealous. by the way how many of you were on the plane? just 150, imagine that you are t
he vip. will you sacrifice your safety because of 150 commoners? femi wake up this is nigeria.

God will intervene

It would have being another tragedy in ds
country bcos of so calledvery important
pig vip.God judgement wil be in his 2nite.
Thanks falana



Pls probe the would be!

Hon Minister, l will advise you probe and warn the person who might have done such an evil work. In the aviation industry any mistake done may result into the death of people and safty first should be observed. I think the in coming aircraft should be allowed to land first we dont know if is coming or may develop any problem. Finally, tender apology to all the people plane on a national newspapers atleast.

The VIP who shut down Abuja airport

Was it the President of United State President 0bama that was at Abuja airport? Who else? Nigerian with VIPs. Do you know how much was wasted to allow the So-called VIP to enjoy his stay in the airport while risking the lives of others? Nigeria does n't care. How long are we going to enjoy uncivilized behaviour like the one our reputable; God sent brother is talking about? I only thank God that the plain landed peacefully. If something worst had taken place, nobody would have said anything about it. It is time for us to change.

But why

I think we av not learnt our lesson.very important personality compared to hundreads of personality on board?This shd be investigated and the said personality and the crew must be penaliseD.Exactly.

Ordinary citizens is not..........

It is only in nigeria I noticed that ordinary Citizens are not important,only when your are Vip then you can have a preferential treatment outside that you are treated like no body. Otherwise ,the lives of these hundred and fifty three passengers onboard should had been considered more important than the life of one individual. This is also happens in our roads daily each time this Vip individuals travels on the road other road users are chased out like mad off the road, resulting hundreds lost of lives yearly in nigeria.Mr Falana thank you for taken the bold step Because this madness has to stop

VIP obstruction

Well, I support Falana in querying who the VIP was that forced a plane not to land as scheduled. However, Falana has become a Politician. He is raising alarm now only bcos he thinks it is not Tinubu or Buhari. I expected Falana to react when Lagos Doctors were sacked and people were dying but he kept mute bcos it concerned ACN, Tinubu and Fashola. Falana only shouts when it is a matter that concerns FG or PDP. With this bias mind of Falana towards ACN and PDP, he is no longer the Man we use to know when Gani Fawehmi waz alive. Falana has changed and we no longer trust his judgment just d way people has lost faith in Pastor Bakare's judgment.

This is madness

this is madness. Who the hell is this person? I wonder how these people are choosen to be leaders. Frankly speaking these people are ilitrates. All they know is how steal money for them and there kids. Is high time we the masses wake up and fight for our rights and to develop this nation. May God help us.

na patience now what do you

na patience now what do you want to do


Barr. Fami my God will bless you.

Misdirected or Misplaced Request!

There is nothing to applaud Falana for. No right thinking person should applaud him for bypassing due process and seeking to grandstand.

As for Falana and co, I suggest we all exercise caution and teach good practice, and not encourage Nigerians to emulate similar conduct when they are abroad. Flights can be delayed for a number of reasons. Nigeria is not an exception! There is no evidence yet that a V.I.P caused the delay. Where compensation is due, people should claim it. But we must not be encouraged to come to the UK to SEEK SIMILAR EXPLANATION FROM THE SECRETARY OF AVIATION OR THE PM, because of delay in landing. Falana's request is misdirected. NAA has/should have an MD!

Nigerians must change their mindsets if...! - 2

There are various levels of management, including the MD of the Nigerian Airports Authority, and the FCAA, at the Nigerian Airports. Why is FALANA bypassing these tiers and levels of management, and requesting information from the Minister, who also has a Perm Secretary under her? Unless, of course, he is grandstanding, as usual, and seeking to bamboozle Nigerians. FALANA cannot do such things in either the UK or EUROPE (Perhaps, he can in the USA).

If I was the Minister, I would ignore his request or politely ask him to send his request to the appropriate person, the MD of the NAA! We seek to ape the advanced countries but get it all too wrong! This is an abuse of the FOI Act process!

Nigerians must change their mindsets if...!

I will continue to say this, that unless we change our mindsets and learn to APPRAISE issues properly, Nigeria can never get out of the woods. The Nigerian thought pattern or process is befuddling! We do not take time to review news or appraise/analyse issues properly, before we react. And when we do react, we go off the mark and beyond reasoning!

From what I have read, Falana was TOLD ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT THAT A VIP CAUSED THEIR DELAY. Did FALANA confirm this from the Airport management upon landing? If not, why not? Rather, he chooses to go home and write to the Aviation Minister, who is perhaps, oblivious of the day to day going ons at the Airport, for information. How bizarre!

My flight was delayed, I must demand explanation from...!

Mr Falana, my Alitalia flight from Nigeria last week was delayed for 6 hours at MM2 because it hadn't arrived from Rome. I 'suspect' that a VIP was responsible for this. I must write to the Italian Prime Minister under the FOI Act (of Italy) to furnish me with the details of the VIP.

Can't Nigerians see the madness or folly of this type of thinking pattern? Most Nigerians are bereft of their thinking faculties, and therefore, do not reason or think properly. Commentaries to the news have all (bar one) CONCLUDED that, indeed, a VIP delayed the aircraft from landing on schedule. What if it isn't true? What if Arik Airline simply gave such porkies? What if they lied about the VIP?

Educated agberos!

In our present day Nigeria, the wife of a local government chairman drives around town accompanied by convoy of jeeps and liturgy of security personnel. Woe to you if you refuse to disappear with your car, as this might land you in either a hospital if you are lucky enough to survive it, or God forbid accidental discharge! Even the Personal assistant to the Special assistant to the Chief of staff to the Speaker of the House of the House can short down any airport in Nigeria! What a shame. Here in Boston, the Mayor seats over a yearly budget of more that three billion dollars, yet he drives himself to work daily.


@ are a big fool, " if its Buhari or Tinubu, what could he have said" is that a comment? Well u are an idiot and let me enlighten you more....Tinubu and Buhari are enemies of PDP the rulling bastard, so there is no way they can give them such treatment anywhere within Nigeria.
Must you always be sentiment? I believe in ur home, family or community you can't have any reasonable or meaningful contribution, you are a big moron and bastard. You, Deri, sultanofsokoto and another useless ifenyi are all can never see any good from good else u try to hide the truth and back the will all perish when the dooms day come....we will killl you all when the revolution begins.


this is an attempt to waste another lives like dana, they will deny the restriction if it happens, VIP i see as very indisciplined people, very inferior people, very useless people VUP and etal. In Nigeria leaders prefer mourning their fellow people than doing the right things to prevent the problems, why on earth now would they restrict plane from landing because of Very Hopeless People VHP when we just witness a tragedy perhaps for alleged movement restriction for the first lady.

Suprise to hear this

This question demands an immediate answer. Can you imagine how Nigerians are been treated by their fellow Nigerians?

human obstruction ind air

ff is on point. b4 now .alot of nonsense tins ve been going on in our airport. goat,cow and sheep ve turned our air port in2 usain bolt traning ground.and we keep on having new minister one after d other oda. during kayode time it was human bazaar. and behaviour of dis present one suggest dat dey are from dsame linage. akara is more expensive dan human life in nigeria now.b4 u know it dey will raise one useless panel dat will investigate and otehembe everytin. warning!whoever dat even tink or try to put my Hero s life in danger ind name of vip{vagabon in power} .shd know by now dat dey will not succed and will never succed. as 4 baba me. ride on in humanity interest b4 dis pple will dana us again

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