2 Nigerian Immigration Officials Sanctioned For Extorting 14-Year-Old Girl – Simple Flying

Nigerian authorities have barred the two officers from working at the airport, but extortions and bribes at the country’s airports remain common.
In shocking news this week, a 14-year-old traveling to Lagos, Nigeria, was extorted by two immigration officials when leaving the country. The Federal Airport authority has since fired the pair and barred them from working at any airports. The girl, who was traveling with Lufthansa, was wrongfully forced to pay N8,000 ($19.23) to officials to pass.
The incident occurred on 19th February when the 14-year-old girl was flying on Lufthansa's four-times-weekly service between Lagos and Frankfurt. The young passenger was asked by immigration officials to pay all of her money at the time, amounting to N8,000 ($19.23), to leave the country and fly to Canada. The child's mother, Ratchet Rayne, tweeted about the incident and how immigration officials asked her daughter to pay all of her money and prevented her from calling her mother.
Understandably angry, Rayne demanded an apology from the government for their conduct, emphasizing how officials extorted a child. The incident highlighted the gross corruption at the international airport and how common the practice has become.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) issued a statement today detailing the incident and announcing the sanctions on the pair. They said,
"The officers were made to refund the exact amount collected from the passenger. Their On Duty Cards were also withdrawn permanently, and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian airport, to serve as deterrent to others. We would like to commend the mother of the child, who has confirmed receipt of the money, for deeming it fit to escalate the case, and assisting us tremendously in the course of our investigation."
While the young age of the passenger has left many fuming, the practice of extortion at airports in Nigeria has become a common one. Passengers have reported being asked for bribes or gifts in order to enter the country or expedite the immigration process. Many times, officials attempted to claim passengers have failed to meet certain conditions or are carrying incorrect documents to force them to pay bribes and complete formalities. These incidents also extend to airline staff at times, such as an Arik Air staffer a few months ago.
However, it's not only passengers who have reported issues with airport officials. Airlines have also reported bottlenecks and extortion claims while trying to fly cargo out of Nigeria and securing appropriate permissions. Despite this, the FAAN has claimed the issue is caused by "bag eggs" and not a structural issue, opting to sanction individuals caught in an incident.
For now, many are glad that the FAAN has promptly investigated the incident and responded to this case of extortion, hopefully signaling the start of better accountability at Nigeria's airports.
What do you think about the incident? Let us know in the comments.
Lead Journalist – India – Pranjal is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on Indian aviation. His background in political science and economics gives him unique insight into issues surrounding international travel and governmental regulations. Pranjal is enthusiastic about new aircraft types and has his stories regularly picked up by renowned publications including Forbes. Based in New Delhi, India.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.