Pastor: Accused stowaway 'mentally unstable'

July 1, 2011 4:16:58 PM PDT
A Chicago man charged with slipping past layers of airport security was ordered held without bond Friday. Olajide Noibi faces federal charges of stowing away on a cross-country flight.

In this Intelligence Report: Exclusive new details of Noibi's past.

The 24-year-old Chicagoan has been described as a businessman. But the I-Team has learned that he was actually homeless for much of the last year after his minister expelled him from the suburban house they shared and excommunicated him from a West Side church. The pastor called Noibi "mentally unstable."

The 24-year-old American citizen, born in Iowa, had been mentally declining for the past two years, according to the pastor of KingsWord Church, the West Side church that he had once attended.

"He needed help because, I'm not a doctor, but I personally feel he was unstable, he was unstable, he was unstable," said Pastor Kayode Ijisesan. "I knew he needed help, but the truth of the matter is I wouldn't have guessed he could go to that length."

The length that Noibi went to landed him Friday in U.S. district court in Los Angeles, where he was charged with using an expired boarding pass in someone else's name and insufficient ID to board a flight, a practice authorities suspect he had somehow accomplished many times.

"In court, the magistrate judge suggested that Mr. Noibi was a common thief, was a pickpocket, who may have been in the habit of stealing boarding passes from people," said U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek.

In 2008, according to a Chicago police report, Noibi was arrested for refusing to pay his Metra train fare. Those charges were later dropped.

The same year, thefts from his roommates at the University of Michigan contributed to Noibi dropping out, according to Pastor Ijisesan, who went to pick him up in Ann Arbor.

The minister says Noibi's aunt, a church member in England, said Noibi needed help. So Noibi was invited to live with the pastor in his Willowbrook home. But the pastor says, when Noibi began lying and acting irrationally, he threw him out.

"We tried to get him help by returning him back to his family in Nigeria, that was November, and the plan was that he was going to go there and stay with his family," said Ijisesan.

Pastor Ijisesan says he even paid for Noibi's airfare to Nigeria.

But the young man returned, and a few weeks ago, he tried to create havoc at the church.

"He just showed up on a Sunday service and everybody was shocked," said Pastor Ijisesan. "We told him, 'Why are you coming around? Because we recommended you go back to your family, your parents for help and you are not going to do that,' and we told him, 'We don't want you around.' "

The minister says church security had to remove Noibi on that Sunday but that he returned a few days later and Chicago police chased him away.

It was for the safety of his parishioners that the pastor says he barred Noibi from church. The next time they heard of Noibi was his arrest this week in Los Angeles on federal stowaway charges.

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