Nigeria under pressure to release suspicious aircraft and arms cargo

Posted by News Express | 8 December 2014 | 3,666 times

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Nigeria has come under pressure to release the Antonov 124 Russia-made aircraft detained at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, over the weekend, a competent source has told News Express.

According to the military source, “The Nigerian Government is very cautious on the detained aircraft even though there is on-going diplomatic pressure.”

The source further disclosed: “Determined to get to the very roots of the seemingly intractable insurgency in parts of Northern Nigeria, the Nigerian security has vowed not to release the aircraft until all investigations are concluded.”

Both the French and Russian embassies in Abuja have released explanations concerning their involvement in the saga.

Although the Russian Embassy initially denied that her country had anything to do with the plane, it later admitted that it belonged to a Russian firm but it had nothing to do with the cargo.

French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, said in a statement on Sunday that the Antonov plane had to divert to Kano to refuel, and to take off again to reach Njamena Airport.

He said the flight was covered by a diplomatic clearance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja and that the commercial plane was forced to land at the Kano airport because of dense air traffic at Ndjamena airport, Chad.

A report by the newswire PRNigeria said that the crew members of the aircraft would be released to the Russian Embassy in Abuja but that the explanations so far given by the French Embassy concerning the source and destination of the cargo were less than convincing.

However, a top security source insisted “Nigeria has no reason to release the aircraft and its cargo until investigation is concluded.”

“In view of the evidence of active collaboration with Boko Haram terrorists by some French speaking neighbouring countries, it has become pertinent for Nigeria to be conscious and be more careful in these matters,” the source declared.

•Photo by PRNigeria shows the Chopper found inside the detaiend aircraft.


Source: News Express

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