Military Intercepts Russian Plane Loaded with Arms in Kano

by on December 7, 2014

Barely two weeks after one Mahamat Bichara Gnoti, a close associate of the Chadian President Idriss Déby, was arrested in connection with the sponsorship of the Boko Haram sect, the Nigerian military has allegedly intercepted a Chad-bound Russian plane loaded with large quantity of arms and ammunition at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, on Saturday morning.
The plane, said to be carrying two helicopters, bullet proof vests, and several AK47 rifles, was heading for N’djamena, the Chadian capital, but landed at the Kano airport by 2.am Nigerian time.
All crew members of the aircraft were said to have been detained by Nigerian forces, according to our sources.
“Security has since been beefed up at the airport in order to ensure proper investigation,’’ the source said.
Sources, however, informed that the plane was coming from South Africa and heading for Chad.
Attempts to contact the Nigerian military for confirmation failed as calls to the Director, Army Information, Brigadier General Olajide Olaleye, were not responded to.
Also, Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, was said to have travelled out of the country and so could not be reached.
When contacted, the General Manager, Communications, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Datti, confirmed the seizure of the plane.
He said the pilot sought for permission to land at the airport following a technical problem with the aircraft.
“The plane had a technical problem and the pilot sought for permission to land at the airport,” he said.
Datti, who declined to describe the contents in the aircraft, however, said that security agencies had since commenced investigation on the issue.
It would be recalled that Gnoti was reportedly arrested on the Chadian-Sudan border with 19 SAM2 missiles, which he allegedly purchased from the Sudanese army for Boko Haram terrorists.
According to Cameroonian investigative journalist, Bisong Etahoben, via his Twitter, Gnoti had claimed that President Idriss Déby gave him “the funds to purchase the weapons waved a presidential pass issued to him by Mr Deby’s office in order to get past border guards, but was stopped and searched by the guards who found the deadly weapons on him.”
Many had alleged that the arrest was a clear indication that the Chadian leader was one of those sponsoring insurgency in Nigeria, an allegation, the
Chadian Ambassador to Nigeria, Issa Ibrahim, has denied.
According to Etahoben, Déby had allegedly swindled the Nigerian government “millions of dollars in Nigeria’s failed attempt to negotiate the release of some 200 high school girls abducted by Boko Haram.”
Source: Daily Independent

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