By SIMON EBEGBULEM & GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN CITY — FORMER Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday, called on the Department of State Services, DSS, to release the stowaway teenage boy, Daniel Oikhena, saying that keeping the boy in their custody does not augur well for the country.
This came as Mr. Afolabi Olayiwola, counsel to Mrs. Evelyn Oikhena, mother of the boy, also called for the immediate release of the youngster , insisting that he is a juvenile in the eye of the law.
Olayiwola in a petition addressed to the Station Manager, Arik Airline, Benin, Edo State, said that since the arrest of the boy at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos by security agents, Mrs. Oikhena has not been told of the whereabouts of her son, adding that this has caused her serious psychological trauma.
Afolabi noted that Rauf Aregbosola Foundation had offered scholarship to the said Daniel Oikhena to study any course of his choice up to university level, lamenting that his continued detention through the instrumentality of officials of Arik Airline was hindering the formalisation of the scholarship documents.
“We just want to remind you of what Mr. Yakubu Datti, General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said in respect to this matter and we quote him, “Arik is liable for the circumstances leading to the stowaway of a teenage boy on its aircraft at the Benin Airport.”
Owie on his part, said rather than keep Daniel away from his family, the DSS should think of how to assist the boy to make a good future, just as he urged the agency to hold authorities of the airport accountable for the security breach.
He pointed out that though the boy might have flouted the law, “he is still a teenager that does not even know the magnitude of what he did.”
“I wish to advise DSS to release Daniel because keeping him in custody at this age will not help us as a nation or even the DSS.”