Enugu-based actor arrested over Ebola

Posted by News Express | 11 September 2014 | 4,123 times

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A Nigerian actor based in Enugu in the country’s South-East has been arrested and is due to be charged to court for falsely reporting that his girlfriend, with whom he had a quarrel, was an Ebola patient.

The actor, Chris Bassey, “disrupted an Arik Air flight from Enugu to Lagos with a hoax call, that a female passenger who was travelling on the flight was infected with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD),” says a report this morning in THISDAY.

“When the female passenger was tested on arrival at the Lagos airport, she tested negative, prompting the airline to order for Bassey’s arrest. He would be charged to court next Monday for raising a false alarm which disrupted the operations of the airline,” the paper says.

The incident was said to have happened at about 1:05 p.m. on August 29, when a “certain man from Enugu” called Arik’s customer call centre to alert the airline that his girlfriend who was under quarantine for the EVD had escaped and was on board flight W3 611 from Enugu to Lagos.

According to the report, “Immediately the flight landed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Ikeja, Lagos, Arik Air’s ground staff who had been placed on alert approached the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) medical personnel, but the FAAN officials at GAT said they didn’t have the requisite equipment to screen passengers for the Ebola virus symptoms.

“The aircraft was therefore taxied to the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport. There, the Port Heath officials supervised the disembarking of the passengers and therefore directed the female passenger to be transferred to the clinic for checks.

“The lady was later discovered to be free of Ebola symptoms after thorough examination. She then told Arik Air personnel that her boyfriend who made the malicious call from Enugu did that to smear her name because they had a misunderstanding.

“She further disclosed that she reported the boyfriend to the police in Enugu on August 28.”

Bassey was arrested in Enugu and is scheduled to be charged to court on Monday, September 15.

A senior official of Arik compared what Bassey did to hoax bomb calls made by terror organisations to disrupt flights.

THISDAY quotes the official as saying: “We are on that case. A man reported that a female passenger had Ebola because he didn’t want to her to travel. We have taken it to the police. This is not good for us because it frightens the passengers. It is the same thing they do with bomb threats which force airlines to evacuate passengers. We lose passengers because it makes people to become afraid to travel.”

•Photo, courtesy of TIME, shows a Nigerian port health official speaking to a passenger at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Source: News Express

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