Ghana has acquired a full body scanner to be installed at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the West African countryâ?s only international airport, as it steps up security in the wake of n ews that the Christmas Day Nigerian would-be bomber was in Ghana before his abortive mission.
Deputy Information Minister James Agyenim-Boateng said the full body scanner had been bought and would be installed at the airport.
“As we speak, the scanners are being installed at the airport as part of our res olve to cooperate with global partner agencies to make air travel safe for all,” he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.
Ghana said its security agencies were unaware of any security alert on the 23 ye ar-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a passenger plane in the US on Christmas Day.
The suspect had spent three weeks in Ghana in December before flying to Lagos an d then to Amsterdam before boarding the flight to Detroit.
But Agyenim-Boateng said Monday that Ghana had not been informed on any security alert on Abdulmutallab, who arrived in Accra on 9 December.
The would-be bomber, who had valid travel documents, was therefore processed as any West African citizens and could spend up to 90 days in an ECOWAS member country without resident permit.
“He got in and was processed by the immigration as any other ECOWAS citizen beca use we had no knowledge of any security alert on him,” Agyenim-Boateng told GNA.
He said Abdulmutallab arrived in Ghana on 9 December at 0320 GMT on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Dubai via Addis Ababa and left on 24 December for Lagos, Nigeria, at 1706 GMT.
On arrival in Accra, Abdulmutallab’s immigration form indicated that his oversea s address was Dubai, he added.
Agyening-Boateng said while in Ghana, he checked into a hotel at Dzorwulu, a sub urb of Accra, stressing that throughout his stay, he did nothing to create suspi c ion. He dismissed a statement by Nigerian officials that the suspect’s journey began from Ghana.
“It is interesting to note that although he bought the KLM ticket in Accra, he d ecided to start that journey from Lagos… Why did he not fly direct with the KL M
from Accra to Amsterdam?” he asked.
He also denied a statement that Abdulmutallab spent less that 30 minutes in Lago s, saying: ”He left for Nigeria at 1706 GMT and left there for Amsterdam at 225 5 hours.”