A woman called in a bomb threat in order to prevent her husband from flying alone to Nigeria, according to police reports.
The woman sent New Jersey police rushing to Newark Airport after falsely accusing her husband of plotting to blow up a plane, authorities said.
Eunice Ukaegbu, 50, called police about her husband, Okieze Ukaegbu, 58, because she did not want him to leave the country without her, authorities said.
The couple had a nasty fight. "It seems that their marriage caught fire," a police official joked.
The drama began when Eunice allegedly passed a false tip that her husband planned to blow up a Paris-bound Delta Air Lines flight.
"He said he was going to blow up the plane," she told news reporters. "I went through his suitcase and I panicked," she added.
She said she thought she was doing her civic duty. "I did what an honest citizen would do," she said. Eunice, who said she is a nurse, said she first became concerned because her husband had been acting distant. “So I tried to search his bag, but could not open it, and then called police,” she said.
The police first arrived at the couple's Union, New Jersey home, to question Eunice. Federal agents, who feared that her husband might be a terrorist, were right behind.
The couple's daughter hearing the ordeal, called her father's cell phone to alert him that the police were going to arrest him at the airport.
Okieze arrived at the airport in a black Lexus and tan pants.
Port Authority police and other agencies responsible for enforcing the law also rushed to find Okieze, traveling to Nigeria through Paris.
Okieze stood at the gate until police arrived and then calmly told officers that his wife had a drinking problem and lied, authorities said.
They took Okieze, who already passed security, at Gate B45 at around 12:15 pm, authorities said. The police took his luggage off the plane, searched it with bomb-sniffing dogs, then took him away for questioning, which caused him to miss his flight.
Travelers on the plane, did not experience a significant delay, the sources said.
Eunice said she filed a police report because she suspected her husband was a terrorist. But officials say he is not a terrorist.
The police have released him from custody and will charge his wife for the false report.