One Idris Adamu and five others on Friday appeared before a Federal High Court sitting in Kano over the alleged planting of banned drug substances in the luggage of a traveler, Zainab Aliyu, at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in 2019.
According to the prosecution, the defendants belong to a syndicate which specializes in planting such substances in travelers’ luggage.
Zainab’s luggage was tampered with at her point of departure to Saudi Arabia through MAKIA, and she was apprehended by the Saudi authorities for indulging in drug trafficking, an offence which attracts death sentence.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, one Musa Mijinyawa, led in evidence by the prosecution counsel barrister Femi Oloruntoba, told the court that he was the manager, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, MAKIA branch, when the incidence happened.
According to him, subsequently, NDLEA in July 2019 sent a missive endorsed by one Ambrose Umoru, demanding for the sign-in-code of the NAHCO staff that were on duty on the day the Zainab incidence allegedly occurred. He tendered the letter in evidence to the court, and counsel representing the six defendants did not object to the tendering of the document in evidence.
Speaking under cross examination by counsel to the 4th defendant, Nuraini Jimoh, the witness informed the court that NAHCO officials are not authorized to inspect the baggage of travelers.
He stated that NDLEA operatives, Customs personnel and staff of Ethiopia Airlines are the proper officials stationed at MAKIA to inspect the luggage of travelers at the airport.
He admitted that some NAHCO staff working at the airport without functional sign-in code could borrow those of their colleagues, resulting into intermittent discrepancies.
Further responding to questions under cross examination, the NAHCO boss disclosed that the Ethopian airline that conveyed Zainab to Saudi Arabia had arrived MAKIA from Ndjamena, Chad Republic on transit
Justice Lewis Allagoa adjourned the matter to March 18th and April 7th and 8th for continuation of hearing.