Nigerian govt. releases Chad-bound Russian plane detained in Kano

Grounded Chad-bound plane.... Photo Credit: Madquest ‏@Mansur295 via twitter

The Federal Government has ordered the release of the the Chad-bound Russian aircraft detained at the Aminu Kano Airport in Kano,  hours after it said it was not in a hurry to let the aircraft go.

PR Nigeria, an agency that circulates press statements for Nigerian security agencies, had quoted an unnamed top security official as telling it that “Nigeria has no reason to release the aircraft and its cargo until investigation is concluded”.

But the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Adesola Amosu, said Monday afternoon that the government had approved the release of the aircraft, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.

The government announced the release of the aircraft shortly after PREMIUM TIMES obtained a manifest which listed the entire cargo on the plane.

According to the document, the Antonov Cargo plane, AN 124100RA82038, with flight number, TTF 9042 from Bangui, Central, African Republic to Ndjamena, Chad, contained a list of 24 military hardware including a vehicle, helicopters and blades.

A breakdown of the items are a steel box weighing 2, 600 kilograms, six bulks of 597 kilograms, two pallets 10, 000 lbs of 4, 550 kilograms with air waybill number 88823400967 all destined for Ndjamena. It is not clear what the steel box contains.

There are also two helicopter Gazelle, weighing, 2, 746 kg, destined for Istres, a community in Southern France.

Others are two blades (7.31m) of 960 kg, two blades (4.83m) of 680 kg, six AKN of 720kg, one vehicle of 4, 050kg and two pallets (10, 000 lbs) of 2800kg, all headed for Istres.

France had said the plane was conveying equipment, owned by its peacekeeping force, from Bangui (Central African Republic) to Ndjamena (Chad), and had diplomatic cover to make a stop-over in Nigeria.

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, had said Sunday that Nigerian authorities had agreed to let the aircraft go.

“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,” the ambassador said in statement through which he admitted his country’s ownership of the cargo aboard the aircraft.

“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.”

Russia had initially said through its embassy in Nigeria on Saturday night that the plane wasn’t Russian and that it had no link with that country.

But in another statement on Sunday afternoon, the embassy said the plane is indeed a Russian one hired by the French government to convey military hardware for its peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic.

The Defence Headquarters had on Saturday said the aircraft, laden with military hardware, was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.

While the French ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, has admitted that his country chattered the Russian aircraft to help it convey some military hardware from Bangui in the Central African Republic to N’djamena, Chad, he denied there were arms and ammunition aboard the plane.

Security operatives at the Kano Airport had seized the plane when it landed at the facility at about 2a.m. Saturday due to technical problems.

Crew members of the airplane were immediately detained while investigations continued, officials said.

Security was then beefed up at the airport in order to ensure proper investigation,” an official at the airport said.

This is the third time since 2009 that planes loaded with arms would be arrested in Kano, our correspondent says.

The detained planes were later released after investigations.

The destination of the latest aircraft has however raised concerns amid increasing worries in Nigeria over Chad’s alleged role in the Boko Haram insurgency plaguing Nigeria’s northeast.

Airport officials in Kano told PREMIUM TIMES a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, visited and inspected the plane late Saturday night.

It is not clear why the former governor – an ally of both the Chadian and Nigerian presidents – visited the plane but there were suggestions he might have lobbied for the release of the plane.


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  • Gideon Orkar

    We release the plane and our $15 million still dey SA. Jonathan!!!!!!

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Gideon, I feel your pain, but I hope you can see where people like me are coming from?

      This is truly hurtful and disappointing.

      Why do we have to be on the receiving end of international humiliation always?

      When will Nigeria and Nigerians start to come first for our rulers?

      • Chris1408

        With GEJ administration, NEVER. Nigeria and Nigerians mean nothing to GEJ and his administration


      Nigeria is not a pirate country,we cannot just hijack a flight using our air space without reason .France is a world power,you cannot break all international aviation laws and expect our own aircrafts to use international air space without sanctions !!
      Nigeria must play by the rules !!

  • Chris1408

    Just as expected, GEJ administration style.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Bruv, this is what we got for voting a shoeless man into power.

      • Chris1408

        LOL, and big time Mumu for president. His advisers and military generals are bigger Mumu


        Will you remove that silly bracket Esq.
        Common international aviation and maritime law is too complicated for you. What do you expect from the Nigerian government after having ascertained the legitimacy of the aircraft including it’s evident diplomatic cover.
        You should know that Nigeria would be culpable to charges of Piracy should any content of the aircraft miss and illegal detention charges may also be filed against the government should the crew be with-held after due verification of the legitimacy of the flight.
        The fact however remains that perpetual ignorance will remain your portion.You have a frozen skull !!

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)


          I am giving you the opportunity to justify that those who paid for your mis-education did not mis-direct their resources.

          Can you please confirm that you know the meaning and import of the word “Esquire”?

          Somehow, I doubt you do.

          Otherwise, you would not be foaming at the mouth like a rabies-infested canine!


            The meaning of the word can be found in all dictionaries but that is not the subject matter. You should be more concerned with rebutting the main substance of my comment .That will go a long way to prove that your Esq. is earned

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Not the plane, but the contents.

            And I remain by that resolution, even if it is now a moot point.

            What is the meaning of the word “esquire” as you, Tawanda, knows it?

            I am still waiting for your answer.


            I am not going down that route with you !

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Tawanda, that a weapon is owned “legitimately” does not mean that it cannot be used for “illegitimate” purposes. Guns don’t kill people by themselves, but people do – in this case, the weapons are not being kept by the French, but being forwarded to the Chadians who have been fingered in supplying arms and buying arms to supply to boko haram. I wonder if your position would change extremely further if and when boko haram “choppers” suddenly appear on the battle field against our military.

            In order for me to be convinced that these weapons would not be turned upon Nigerians, it should have remained under Nigerian Supervision.

            I would not “cease” those weapons if I was Mr. President. Rather, I would seize them.


            First of all,the French have a military base in Chad and are allowed to move equipment in between their bases all over the world just like other world powers.
            You stated that legitimate weapons can be used illegitimately,well that was why the Nigerian authorities sought to investigate and determine if their was any potential sinister motives for that flight and after being satisfied with the evidence before them decided to release the aircraf,it’s content and crew !
            There is no legitimate reason to do otherwise because Nigeria is signatory to international aviation agreements . You must make comments which are backed up by the rule of law if you dont want to get ridiculed !

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Tired of trying to get a hunch-backed man to stand erect, Tawanda.

            Have a blessed day.

          • Nma

            Kay Soyemi! Am really suprised to meet you on this platform. you really have garnered a handful of mouthed (really really mouthed) supporters on Punch platform. I never comment one bit on Newspaper forums like this even though am an ardent reader of the dailies. I am disappointed that people with your supposed caliber of education or learning cannot pass across a message, share their views or comment on public issues with decorum. Must you haul insults on people or call them names to prove your point? So anyone that doesn’t support your Team APC should rot in hell? is the kind of culture we should expect from your OGAs when (or should i say IF) they come into power? Am no advocate of the present administration for it’s maladministration clueless activities but i’ll rather stick with them than getting into the hands of someone with so much venom. This is the Nigeria we are talking about, YOU are the Nigeria we are talking about. Please address it because it doesn’t tell good of you or your profession. Good day (i won’t be surprised if you hurl insults at me too but who cares? I’ve said what should be said, he who has ears let him here)

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Mma, without doubt, if you had chosen to hurl abuses and insults at me, you would have received same in equal or greater measure. It is that simple for me because I refuse to succumb to internet trolls and cyber bullies.

            By the way, how do you know my profession?

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Look at this shameless buffoon called Tawanda!

          Was it not less than 24 hours ago when you and other PDP e-rats were claiming this was Jonothing’s master stroke in getting Russia to deliver weapon to it in a cloak and dagger manner?

          Two-forked tongued vipers!!


            If you are honest you must admit that we were all speculating on different scenarios because it was clear that the official facts were not yet in the open. There was never any conclusive assertion from me,we were all weighing in on different possibilities and probabilities !

  • FortB

    So you guys blocked my comments? So much for free press

    • Warri Boy

      If your comments is in support of Jonathan or to right the wrong comment of the apc boys, be sure Mr Oluwole will not only block your comment but DELETE it permanently.

  • McAlfred Uta

    With the rumoured role of Chad in Boko Haram warfare, why will anybody speedily authorize the release of this weapons laden aircraft. Unless my geography is wrong, a flight from Bangui, Central Africa to N’djamena, Chad has no business overflying Nigerian airspace talk less of Kano. There is a hidden agenda that requires to be unraveled before things go awry.

  • Warri Boy

    Wetin! Premium Times, I say wetin? ….Your last sentence reads…”The former governor – an ally of both the Chadian and Nigerian presidents – is believed to be lobbying for the release of the plane.” So, una no fit end this story without mentioning our Dearest President? Why fear no let una mention Putin? Nonsense!

  • Wale

    This is how to do it;
    If this government was so serious about arm and ammunition procurement from South Africa,
    they could have used the diplomatic immunity pouches to convey the money along with a military attache or have have Nigerian Ambassador to SA awaiting the arrival of Pastor Oritzjefor’s (pardon the spelling) plane. Any step short of these indicate illegality of the process. Hence, warrants the seizure of the money and the plane itself.
    Its a clear case of theft, and SA knows it.

  • the truth

    The transformation of this country is in high gear. We all have to put our hands together to move this country in the right direction. I so much believe the umbrella is big enough to encompass all Nigerians irrespective of religion, tribe or economic statuesque. I do believe our authorities did a great investigation and as such the plane released. There is no cause for alarm as boko haram is on the run and their financiers would soon be known.God Bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    • kammykazee

      Two words for you…’crumb catcher’

      • the truth

        one word for you “ignoramus”

    • GEJmustgo!

      Any body that votes GEJ in the upcoming elections should know that he has blood of innocent people in his hand, those who voted for him last time are forgiven as they were deceived with a shoeless story. Now your eyes are open and secret is vivid, so vote with your conscience !

      • umolu

        Vote what you want to vote, be quite about it and let others vote what they want to vote . Easy.

  • warry

    If anybody insists that the entire Nigerian security apparatus is made up of fools because of GEJ,pity that person. Those military chiefs who recruited them into the Army?


    @Wahala the propagandist hater who spreads all manner of lies against President Jonathan has all of a sudden vanished because his position on this aircraft saga has become untenable…..his lies are now in the open and the coward has gone into hiding……..a real man would own up and accept his failure !!

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    you are a serious type he will put so much of his time, influence and
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    was told by my father that he only have space for 12 persons each year
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