To Abu Dhabi… Boy, 16, Escapes From Lungi Airport

By Janet A Sesay

A 16 year old boy (name withheld) yesterday made his first appearance before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 over his alleged escape from Lungi Airport to Abu Dhabi.

Police alleged that the accused, on Monday 11th May 2020, at the Freetown International Airport, Lungi, trespassed on the aerodrome of the said Freetown International Airport, through the restricted General Manager’s security gate and unlawfully boarded the Etihad Flight to Abu Dhabi.

Consequently, the accused is facing one count charge of trespassing on aerodrome, which is contrary to Section 105 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act No. 7 of 2019.

Magistrate Bonnie disclosed that the offence, which the 16 year old committed, exceeds what is before the court. She therefore urged the police prosecutors to do a better investigation into the matter.

She furthered that the investigation was inappropriate and improper. She expressed curiosity as to how the 16 year old was able to make his way through to Abu Dhabi in the full view of the security personnel at the Airport.

The 16 year old disclosed that he didn’t know where the flight was heading to, but boarded it, for he wanted to seek greener pastures. “Security personnel at the Airport wanted to intercept me, but I played smart by acting busy and placed a fake call and told the security personnel that someone wanted to speak to other personnel at the Airport,” he explained.

State counsel, Ibrahim T. Bangura, and Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ibrahim Mansaray, are prosecuting the matter, but are yet to bring witnesses to court to testify. Meanwhile, state counsel requested for a short adjourned date.

Magistrate Bonnie granted the request. She sent the 16 year old on remand at the Remand Center at Kingtom, and adjourned the matter to the 18th September 2020.

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