Why we detained, released Chad-bound Russian plane — Nigerian Airforce

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

The Nigerian Airforce on Monday explained why it detained and later released the Chad-bound  Antonov 124 cargo Aircraft to the French Government.

Security operatives had on December 6 intercepted the aircraft, which carried military hardware, at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, made the clarifications in Abuja at a joint media briefing with the French Defence Attaché to Nigeria, Col Mac Humbert.

He said the aircraft was detained because the crew could not provide adequate clarification on the flight, adding that Nigeria had to ensure that the equipment being conveyed were not intended for criminal activities elsewhere.

Mr. Amosu said Nigeria agreed to release the plane after receiving adequate documentation on the flight from the French government.

“We just got the correspondence from the French government that the items on board the aircraft belong to it and we respect that.

“We have had established good relationships with the French government and we do value that.

“So, by this press briefing we are releasing the aircraft as soon as we finish from here,” Mr. Amosu said.

He said that the aircraft departed Bangui, Central African Republic for Ndjamena, Chad, and that from the records available to the Air Force authorities, it had no clearance to operate in Kano.

“The French government and Nigeria have a block clearance to cover up most flights throughout the year.

“But the block clearance that we have has some exceptions tabulated on the document that we give for block clearances.

“There are about seven elements that ought to be avoided when you operate using the block clearance.

“One of the conditions is that the aircraft must not be bearing toxic waste, or dangerous materials.

“It should also not be carrying nuclear or bacterial or any issue used for chemical weapons; and troops must not be carried.

The Air Chief said when the aircraft landed in Kano, the Nigerian Air Force had a responsibility to ensure that all aircrafts that landed at the country’s airports were duly searched to confirm that they had permission to land.

He said that the airforce did exactly what it needed to do, and that it did not get adequate clarification from the crew.

Mr. Amosu said that one of the issues faced while trying to get clarification from the crew had to do with language barrier, which he said, was not a new thing.

He listed the items found on the aircraft to include two gazelle helicopters for light wheezy; a rover armoured plated for VIP protection; propeller blades and some items for entertainment.

“We expect every nation to rise up to verify that those items are not going to be used to cause trouble in other regions of the world.

“And that is exactly what the Airforce has done, not just about fighting war, but stopping this kind of activities is also part of war.

“We may not be fighting right here on Nigerian soil but in the process of interception, we may be helping other nations to win their war against insurgency.

The French Defence Attaché to Nigeria, Col. Mac Humbert, said the flight was intended to proceed from Bangui to Ndjamena.

Mr. Humbert said that when the flight was approaching Ndjamena, the airport there was too busy , and the runway was not available for landing.

He said the airport control tower in Ndjamena, therefore, told the crew to go to the nearest available airport and land.

“The standard for international flights is that you have to go to the next international airport, and the next one is Kano.

“The problem is the crew was in flight and I could not see how the embassy could inform the government here.”



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  • Wähala

    All this long story does not explain why Ali Modu Sheriff was allowed to inspect the aircraft and order it’s release at 10.30pm even before the embassies came into play. Why would the French be buying arms from Russia under international sanctions? What the military investigators did with the tons of weapons the plane was carrying along with the two Gazelle helicopters. Chad has no pressing need for such large cache of weapons. Dr. Davis told us Modu Sheriff and a PDP big-wig at the CBN send money to a BH sponsor in Egypt, who buys and supplies arms to the terrorists via Chad… now that we’ve let the bird fly, expect an upsurge in BH activities. Nonsense!

    • Nwa Aba {Biafran}

      Where is your common sense?
      how sure are you he inspected the cargo?

      • Wähala

        Did you ask Premium Times Editors where their senses were when they published their report with citations of credible sources? How sure are you Sheriff did not inspect the cargo… are you his PA? Modu Sheriff has issued a statement denying everything but, he did not deny he inspected the aircraft. In politics, what is not denied is accepted as truth… learn that today!

        • Nwa Aba {Biafran}

          PT editors are human like you
          you are brain drained

          • salako

            why are you people depending this guy?

          • Tunji Olarewaju

            Those are SAS’S attack dogd

          • Nwa Aba {Biafran}

            You mean defending?
            no one is defending him, and we won’t buy any bulk of lies

    • Shehu Monguno

      Wahala, were you on Ali Modu Sheriff’s delegation when he inspected the cargo? Nigerians have seen pictures of the plane, Nigerians have seen pictures of the items in the plane, but no one is yet to show any picture of Ali Modu Sheriff visiting the plane. About using a Super Antonov aircraft to transport 2 Gazelle helicopters and spare parts do you think that everyone behave like Nigerians who stuff containers. The United State send an aircraft each to evacuate their citizens with Ebola from West Africa so there is nothing new

      • Wähala

        I generally don’t waste my time with people with “desert education” but since I suspect you’re an Aborigine using Aboki name to filter rubbish into sensible discourse, maybe, you ought to be educated that the aircraft US (even Germans) used to transport Ebola patients is Specially re-Equipped for such dangerous missions. The itemized Manifest says 2x 10,000lbs of “tools” in cases. Mumu, those “tools” are AK47’s and bullets, rocket-propelled-granades (RPG’s), high-caliber explosives, etc… Modu Sheriff rushed over to try and secure the “goods” but was thwarted by military investigators. Again, revisit Dr. Davis’ accusations which by the way, Sheriff has not deemed necessary to carry out his threat of legal action. Biko, go back to your ogogoro, you’re not really awake yet…

        • Shehu Monguno

          Wahala, I have desert education I agree, but what I know is that the supposed difference between western education you have and the desert education I have is while the western education deals with facts desert education deals with “hear say/them say”. It is sad that a product of Western education is now defending “hear say/them say” a product of desert education is asking for facts. Please who produced the itemized manifest you talked? Was the manifest presented to the public by the authorized Defense Spokesman “Major General Chris Olukolade” or the Chief of Air Staff? Please when did Sahara Reporters and Premium Times now become the official spokesperson of the military in Nigeria so much that what they publish now represent the views of the military in Nigeria? Pictures of the contents of the aircraft are all over the media, can you show us any of them that show AK47’s and bullets, rocket-propelled-grenades (RPG’s), high-caliber explosives? Or are you know an expert in arms that know what boxes contain just by looking at pictures? Wahala you really should be employed by the Nigerian Customs Service. About Dr. Davis allegation, if after attending a desert school I stiil do not know the simple rule which says “he who alleges proves” and swallow what Dr, Davis says because he has a white skin, then I am a failed product of the desert education

          • salako

            But a while ago Ali modu sherrif admitted being at the airport to inspect the plane, and some security at the airport admitted being with him. so, how can you reconcile this.

      • salako

        Wahala im with you in this, but shehu is fully in support of this useless man upon all the untold hardship he inflicted on his people yet you are trying to give him a clean bill of health. on his visit to kano, wahala waqs not in his delegate but if SHERRIF denied it then, he must be a big lie which he is because many have seen him there.

        • Shehu Monguno

          Saloko, I am from Monguno in Bornu state, the original seat of the Shehu of Bornu until it was moved to Maiduguri in 1902. My place has been hard hit by Boko Haram so there is no way I will be living in internal exile because of Boko Haram and at the same time supporting an alleged sponsor. Is Ali Modu Sheriff involved, yes to the extent that the political thugs (ECOMOG) finance by him as governor have become the nucleus of what is today Boko Haram. The issue we are discussing here is the Russian Aircraft and the French arms. An allegation was made that ex-Governor Modu Sheriff
          visited Kano airport and inspected the arms. Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff said yes I transited through Kano airport which if you live in Northern Nigeria you will understand that Kano airport is a popular transit route to other parts of Nigeria but never inspected the arms. Governor Modu Sheriff is not a spirit and if he was really sighted visiting the plane why are the pictures not in the media. After all we have the picture of the plane, the content of the plane and the so called manifest of the plane in the media. So why don’t we have just a picture of the governor by the plane not even inside the plane?

          • Sadiq Garba

            Monguno is Mungunoma, and therefore in the right place to tell us that it is a coincidence that Ali Sherif was in Kano when the plane was detained. he has however failed to tell us whether it is thesame coincidence that led to Davis report mentioning SAS. Or whether it is a coincidence that SAS was sighted when the presidents of Tchad and Nigeria were confering on the same issue.

      • Sadiq Garba

        Munguno, your story sounds new and different from the FG and even SAS’s position. Which one do we believe?

    • Gideon Orkar

      Next time they will shrink all the equipment and transport them in Gulfstream. Maybe they should even use wheelbarrow self that is better abi?

      • Wähala

        Oh now you’re upgrading to gulfstream?
        Why not a kite? Some people, in fact most people must be banned from publishing their thoughts…
        You certainly qualify!

    • Gideon Orkar

      You are right. Why use such a plane when they could have used a wheelbarrow to carry the equipment?

      • Wähala

        Na only wheelbarrow you can think of?
        Next time, they should use a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ sounds more stupiid!

        • Gideon Orkar

          I have a better idea. Next time you will carry all the equipment inside your big empty head and trek across all the countries!!


      First of all,the sanctions on Russia by western nations is not a blanket sanction,a lot of areas are still open. There was no arms purchase from Russia,the aircraft was on a hire service and the equipment on board is in line with what the French deploy for peace-keeping operations in the CAR and elsewhere in Africa.
      Mr Modu Sheriff travelling from Katsina connected a flight to Abuja via Kano earlier in the day and was nowhere near the detained aircraft aircraft. You should be ashamed of yourself if you have any honour as a man but you clearly do not have any so keep on spreading lies and hate !

      • Gideon Orkar

        That old man has no shame. He is a 50+ something year old troll

  • blueeyedkitten

    lies are part of our DNA. the entire world, eats, drinks and sleeps lies. they even refined it by calling it propaganda.
    what you’re seeing is clearly red, but somebody would tell you; it is white. they can use all the sugarcoated tongues of this world to justify the release of those massive human destruction tools. but we know the truth. in fact the whole world knows the truth. but nobody cares, since killing is now the most lucrative returns on investment all over the world. especially the hypocritical western world. this is how far humanity has plunged. very good!
    we would destroy this planet with our own hands. in fact, we have been doing it for ages.
    injustice is the order of the day. and where there is injustice, peace will never reign. this circle of injustice and violence happening all over the world, especially in this country, would eventually consume us and the planet we live in.
    we live like fishes. the bigger ones always swallowing the smaller ones. but they refuse to call is injustice, but rather, they call it hegemony, imperialism, politics or been smart. the good thing is; nothing lasts forever. not even the planet we live in. when the earth is tired of our bloodshed, it would collapse. afterall, there was a big bang. the big crunch/crash is inevitable. when it happens, we shall see who’d be the last man standing.

  • Chris1408

    Every Nigerian knew from day one the plane will be released to Chad. Nigerians were curious to know what story GEJ administration will tell us about the release. Now we’ve heard the crazy story from crazy administration.

  • MushinSpeaks

    We just have to live with GEJ till Feb 2015.

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