By Sade Williams
Emirates Airline on Wednesday, explained the reason for restraining a 71 year old passenger, David Ukesone on its flight to Chicago from Dubai, saying he was unruly, forced his way into another passenger’s seat even after biting him.
Although, Nigerians have expressed outrage over the matter since it broke out, castigating Emirates for the act, the statement from Emirates’ Lagos office made available to The Travel Port, explained that the crew took the action after they discovered that he became more violent.
“Emirates can confirm that Mr Ukesone was a passenger on flight EK235 from Dubai to Chicago on 23 January, and that he had to be restrained by cabin crew due to unruly behaviour during the flight.
‘Despite the best efforts of our crew to intervene and reason with him, Mr. Ukesone repeatedly disturbed other passengers, refused to remain in his assigned seat, and forced his way into another cabin class.
‘He also assaulted crew and bit another passenger. As a consequence he was restrained by our crew. Our cabin crew are highly trained to ensure the safety and security of our passengers, and constantly monitored Mr. Ukesone’s welfare throughout the flight. The safety and security of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised.
‘Upon arrival at the airport, the passenger was handed over to the authorities in Chicago. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the other passengers on the flight for their understanding, in particular the individuals who had assisted our crew during the flight”, the statement reads.
According to reports on an online medium, Mail Online, the 71-year-old Nigerian had alleged he was punched in the face, his mouth taped and bound like a prisoner for eight hours on his trip to reunite with his family.
He had explained that his offence was that he got into a dispute with the flight attendants over his seat number. And then, as Mail Online reported, matters escalated.
Ukesone said he hadn’t been on a plane in over 35 years.
‘He apparently sits in the wrong seat and was told to change seats by a flight attendant,’ attorney Howard Schaffner told ABC News.
‘He didn’t think he was in the wrong seat and there was an argument and, at some point, he was hit”, Mail Online says.