FG Orders Release Of Controversial Weapons Russian Cargo PlaneLatest News, News Monday, December 8th, 2014
From Ganiyu Nasirudeen, Kano – After about 48 hours of arrest and questioning of Antonio Russian cargo Aircraft at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, the Federal Government Monday ordered the release of the plane, to continue its flight to the neighbouring Chad.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Amosu, confirmed the FG’s position at a press briefing which he jointly addressed Monday, with the Defence Attache of France to Nigeria, Col. Mark Hubert, in FCT Abuja.
Air Marshal Amosu explained that FG action was after the clarification was sought from the French authorities on the consignments of the aircraft – helicopters, said to belong to the French Military.
The release, Air Marshal Amosu also clarified was deemed necessary so as to safeguard the existing cordial and bi – literal relationship between France and Nigeria yet, maintained that the country’s security operatives upheld the standard check on the plane, as it did not have clearance to operate at the airport (Aminu Kano), despite the fact that the French Government has been given an annual block clearance, by the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate.
The Army Chief corroborated earlier statement made by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, when he revealed that notice was not given as it left Bangui, Central Africa Republic capital for Ndjamena, the Chadian capital, but compulsorily needed to tarmac in Kano as the Chadian Port was congested as at the time it supposed to land.
Air Marshal Amosu, justified that the issues about the cargo plane landing and its checking were conventional practices as Nigeria like all the other countries had a responsibility to investigate controversial aircraft, so as to checkmate that the weapons aboard were not for wrong use, especially by the dreaded insurgents.
The French authorities had earlier admitted the ownership of the contents of the aircraft, while Russia government similarly accepted being the owner of the plane, after a first denial.
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