France admits ownership of military hardware aboard Chad-bound Russian plane detained in Nigeria

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, has issued a statement about the Chad-bound aircraft detained by Nigerian authorities at the Aminu Kano Airport in Kano.

In the statement, the ambassador admitted his country chartered the Russian aircraft to help it convey some military hardware from Bangui (Central African Republic) to Ndjamena (Niger).

He however said there were no arms and ammunition aboard the plane, contrary to earlier reports on the matter.

Read the full statement below.

“A Russian commercial plane carrying two light Gazelle helicopters belonging to the French Army has unexpectedly landed in Kano on Saturday December 6th, early in the afternoon.

The development can be explained as follows :

On 6 December, the French armed forces had chartered a flight on the Russian commercial company “224 Flight Unit”, to ship 2 light helicopters from Bangui to Ndjamena. The shipment is organized as the size of the French military intervention in CAR is being reduced, as was earlier announced by the French Authorities.

The cargo airplane, an Antonov 124, had a regular flight plan from Bangui to Ndjamena ; the flight was covered by a diplomatic clearance given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The freight consisted of 2 ‘’Gazelle’’ helicopters (a 4 seater light liaison helicopter) with spare-parts and maintenance items. 2 French military non-commissioned officers escorted the equipment as passengers.

As the Antonov was approaching Ndjamena, the air traffic conditions were too dense to authorize the landing of the aircraft ; and the Antonov had to divert to an alternate international airport. The closest airport facility being Kano, the Russian crew decided to fly there, to refuel, and to take off again to reach Ndjamena Airport.

Due to the nationality of the aircraft, and the nature of the cargo, local airport Nigerian authorities in Kano have decided to check the flight plan, the clearance and the cargo manifest before authorizing the plane to leave. Official information has been supplied by the French Embassy in Nigeria. The Nigerian federal and airport authorities, being satisfied with the documents and the genuine character of the flight, have announced that the plane will be authorized to pursue its flight to Ndjamena.

Contrary to some press reports, there was absolutely no weapon, and no ammunition on board the aircraft.

The use of chartered flights of various nationalities for military cargo transport is a standard international practice : it is used by many nations, and is coherent with commercial competition to reduce the cost of such transport operations. The use of Russian companies to transport French military equipment is common practice.

As for the move of the helicopters between CAR and Chad, it is part of the French effort to support regional cooperation against terrorism, as agreed by the Heads of State of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon during the security Summit held in Paris in May, 2014.”


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  • Jika

    This explanation is anything but convincing.Whatever it is,God is watching.

    • Mariana

      What is convincing there? …anything Oyibo tell you is ‘convincing’…people who can initiate and prolong civil wars bcos they want Diamond, Gold or oil, will do anything. These slave drivers & colonialists dont change. Leopards dont change their spots…

      Who is selling guns and weapons to africans at war? Is it not Europe & America?…Certainly not China…and these same useless countries are the ones who tell you that they want the wars to end. But they keep selling the weapons….If there is no weapon, will people fight wars? …how many african countries can manufacture a gun or rocket? Be there deceiving urself. Convincing indeed! Nonsense.

      • Jika

        Relax!Please read my post again.I said it is anything but convincing.In simple English,it means the explanation is far from convincing.I don’t mean to be rude,but,I advise you first of all comprehend what you read before you respond if there is any need for that.

        • Mariana

          Ok sorry small…but you should understand that English is not my first language. If you had written in my native Ijebu, the mix up would not have happened. But next time try to write in very very very simple English and always remember that many people like me are not English speakers. Thank you!

          • Jika

            Lol!!Next time I will have some of my very good Ijebu friends to assist me or,better still,I will write in my native Fulani language.God bless.

          • Otile

            I did not know you are Hausa Fulani, I thought you were Yoruba.

      • Danny

        Chai! See as una dey attack una selves! Nawa o!
        The guy ws saying the same as u!
        This una hatred will consume you all very soon!
        Blinded by hate u can’t read and comprehend simple english!
        Hahahahahaha! Na laff I dey laff una oo!

  • growthengine

    Where are all the doomsayers with all the theories?

    • Otile

      You mean the APC soothsayers?

  • _Proudly Niger Deltan

    So just an ‘ordinary explanation by France & Russia suffices and no one is raising contradictions here and there. I have gone through all the online & offlline newspapers in Russia & France today and I have found no Russian or French APC opposition questioning their role or need to cooperate and carry weapons. Yet, French & Russia are seemingly not best of friends. In fact, France supports sanctions against Russia at the moment…Does that mean there are no opposition parties in France & Russia? Is there no President in France & Russia?

    But just imagine if continent Nigeria was either France or Russia, there is no way Premium Times would have reported the issue without mentioning the name of President Jonathan. But I have searched this report & all other reports on this saga, and I have not seen Vladimir Putin or ‘Hollande’ mentioned anywhere…Haba! So, see how you treat my Great Jona? …and you want his oil to continue to run Nigeria.

    …The same Helicopters that Nigeria cannot get even though she is willing to pay CASH, is what Russia & France are moving to Chad where no Terrorists slaughter women & children or burn houses…all becos Nigerian soldiers are accused of peeing on dead Afghan Soldiers. This is why Jonathan should set up a ministry of arms invention & manufacturing, so we can produce our own weaponry & not have tp depend on these useless countries.

    • Baba Messi

      Comment of the year!

    • Otile

      Gbam

  • Innocent

    Three questions
    1. Why did Russia deny the plane at first?
    2. Why did Ali-Modu Sheriff visit
    3. What about the Ak-47s sighted by the Nigerian security, are thoae not weapons?

    • Shehu Monguno

      The Nigerian
      Military spokesman is “Major General Christopher Olukolade” please show
      me were Major General Christopher Olukolade said AK-47 were sighted on the
      plane? The story of AK-47 was the creation of the Nigerian media. Even the
      pictures of the content of the plane showed by Sahara Reporters and Premium
      Times showed no AK-47. The Nigerian media have a duty to confirm the
      authenticity of a story before rushing to print. Is it not funny that Governor
      Modu Sheriff’s visit, is it not funny that Sahara
      Reporters and Premium Times were able to get visuals of the content of the
      plane but cannot show us a picture of Governor Modu Sheriff at the airport

      • Wähala

        The picture shown on Pointblank News has enough crates of AK47s to feed your eyes…
        Guns are crated not stacked on top of each other, mumu!

        • Shehu Monguno

          We saw sealed crates, did we see guns? the crates may contain anything

      • Otile

        taqiyya تقية comrade, taqiyya تقية. That is Islamic APC party for you. The devil must do his own work too.

    • _Proudly Niger Deltan

      Those AK-48 guns you refer to were actually sighted by a Nigerian security official who has only one good eye. But those with 2 eyes have ‘visited’, inspected and looked properly, and saw NOTHING.

      I hope your curiosity is satisfied? When the Musa was missing in action for over 7 months and the budget was miraculously signed, did anyone tell you who signed? Has anyone confirmed till this day who signed that Nigerian budget? Sidon for there dey ask kwestion wey no get answer…this is continent Nigeria for you…Where you are told that there are more people in Kano than Lagos, and it is accepted…but as a retired combatant airforce Captain, I can confirm to you that there is no city anywhere in Africa that has the kind of population density as Lagos.

      • Otile

        taqiyya تقية means nothing but deception. Don’t believe them when they boast of taqiyya تقية.

  • Baba Messi

    After the BLACK SUNDAY Yesterday, looks like today is gonna b another BLACK MONDAY! From all indications, ‘humble pie’ is still on the menu for the APC e-zombies!
    The French Ambassador said contrary to reports THERE WERE NO ARMS AND AMMUNITION ON THE PLANE!!
    So who wer the earlier ‘sources’?? The numbskulls that went to town abusing and insulting everyone when the fake news first broke????
    So these ‘sources’ are the usual suspects sitting in a cramped office spinning lies ko??
    Yet the clowns will come here twisting and turning struggling to do damage control! Hahaha!!
    Well, all I can say to those foul loud mouthed jesters is: Bon appétit!
    Humble pie tastes nasty tho..

    • yakubu garba mtn

      dolo.what make think that what d franco was saying is true?ice fish head,wawa go to good school not the ube type.

      • Baba Messi

        Yur types only make me laff with yur insults. By now if it wasn’t sawdust u had for a brain, u wuldv known I get amused when you and yur brood of vipers throw tantrums all over the place! It’s a sign of the state of yur mind; mental instability! E dey pain u abi? The humble pie served cold wey u chop! Aeyah! You are one of the zombies I referred to above! Now I have another name to add to the list! Thanx mallam Kubu! Nagode babana!!
        I dey LaffooooO!!!!!!!!!

  • Shehu Monguno

    Former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff Monday denied allegations that he has a link with the arms-Laden Russian cargo plane which was intercepted by Nigerian security at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport on Saturday. Sheriff, in a statement he issued to newsmen alleged that the story, carried by an online medium was planted by some parties that are opposed to him.

    “Some few hours ago, my attention was drawn to a publication by the Premium Times on-line with a caption, “Ex-Borno Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, In Secret Visit To Arms-laden Chad-bound Plane Detained in Nigeria. “I read the report with consternation, much as I felt scandalized to be linked again to an issue I absolutely knew nothing about. For me, the publication has a ring of a conspiracy meant to dragging my name in the mud by some cowardly, malicious and unschooled political rivals who, in their little minds, love to engage ill-trained media persons to peddle lies against me. “I hereby use this means to say to my adversaries anywhere they may be that their evil motives to soil my name and hard earned reputation will not stand. Those who are drawn into the conspiracy to hack me down under any guise will always fail as much I am certain that they will continue to get soaked in the whirlpool of self-delusion and hopelessness.

    “At the risk of exposing my private programme and movement last week, I like to say, all the same, that I left Abuja for Katsina last Thursday for the wedding ceremony of Muhammed, son of my friend Lamai Hassan who died 20 years ago. After the wedding, I needed to return to Abuja on
    Saturday with other friends through the Kano International Airport, since there was no direct flight from Katsina. The alibi I had was a meeting that I attended at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja at 9.00pm on Saturday; whereas the report quoted an unreal source that I visited the Kano International Airport at 10.00pm same day!. What a report! What incongruity! What a blatant lie!” Sheriff said

    • Danny

      Pls make this an ‘Open letter’ to wahala..before he commits suicide..

  • Wähala

    This is belated shuttle-diplomacy to cover evil Dumbo’s ass in the importation of weapons to Nigeria for use in creating “war situation” and cancel/postpone the general elections scheduled for next year. El-Rufai aptly read their permutation and has echoed what I’ve since termed, “Anarchy Agenda” to frustrate voters in certain regions. The fact that Modu Sheriff visited the aircraft and crew (at 10.30pm) speaks volumes. Was he acting on behalf of the French Embassy… and since Saturday, why are the French only just looking for their missing chartered cargo airplane? This is hogwash explanation, the Cargo Manifest is on Sahara Reporters; the picture of hundreds of crates of armo is on Pointblank News… and pictures speak a million words. Apart from the Gazelle helicopters the French claim ownership for, who owns the 4 pallets of 20,000lbs of AK47s and rounds of ammunition on board? Could it belong to Modu Sheriff, the only man named by Dr. Davis as the sponsor of Boko Haram? As for me, no explanation is tenable without defining the role, reason and presence of Ali Modu Sheriff in Kano…

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Shame on you !
      You keep wallowing in your own mess inside the gutter !
      You keep regurgitating your smelly vomit…….like a pig !!

      • Kamal Kamoru

        This should not surprise you. Wahala never admits he is wrong. He probably is under the illusion he is a god. god of lies that is!
        Two shockingly disappointing news in 24hrs! You can see from his reaction time he and his co-frogs have been hit below the belt. He and his fellow uncivil touts usually need like 5hrs to rearrange their scattered thoughts and concoct a lie they will stick to. Expect the other vultures soon! Make dem chop humble pie first. Me ma I don chop am before and e dey scatter Belle well well! This one na Jedi-Jedi e go give dem!
        I dey laugh yanfuyanfu o!

    • justice

      You will burst an artery and Jonah will be sworn in again. Why won’t you live to see it?

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  • Ibraheem Aruna

    Debates which reveal some truths, half truths and untruths become inevitable when an administration keeps quiet and refuses to brief the citizenry, who are genuinely apprehensive.