Nigeria’s chief of air staff, Admiral Olusola Amosu, told newsmen that the contents of the plane did not violate agreed international standards and was not carrying any restricted equipment or anything harmful that could cause havoc to Nigeria.
Speaking alongside the French Defence Attache to Nigeria, Marc Humbert, the Airforce chief said: “We just got the correspondence from the French Government that the items on board belong to the French Government and we respect that, we have established good relationship with the French Government and do value that. We are releasing the aircraft as soon as we finish from here.”
Considering how precarious the security situation in the North of Nigeria has been in recent times as a result of the continuous attacks by terrorist group Boko Haram, it was feared that the contents of the cargo plane which were believed to be deadly, were being moved into wrong hands in Chad.
Amosu listed the items on board the aircraft as two gazelle helicopters for light liaison, a rover amoured-plated SUV for VIPs, propeller blades and some items for entertainment.
On his part, Humbert said, “there were no weapons on the two helicopters, no arms, no weaponry, but one vehicle and the spare parts for the helicopters, and for the fan there was some Christmas gifts for the soldiers to lift their spirit in Djamena, Chad.”
He said that as the plane approached Ndjamena, the airport was too busy and the runway was not available for landing, so the airport control authorities in N’djamena told them to go to the nearest available airport for landing which was the one in Kano.
“The standard for international flights is that you have to go to an international airport to be allowed to land, but the next available one is Kano, the thing is that when you are in flight, you don’t have to wait to clear with the embassy before you take a decision, so they landed in Kano without proper authorisation to avoid any other disaster,” he said.
Source: This Day