The aircraft laden with military hardware which was seized over the weekend in Nigeria, has been trailed with various speculations over which government or country owns it.
Initially, it was said to belong to Russia, but the Russian government has denied it, saying through its embassy in Nigeria that Russia knows nothing about the estranged plane.
“According to the information of the Embassy, the detained Kano plane, allegedly carrying military hardware on board, is not Russian” the Embassy in Nigeria tweeted via its handle @RusEmbNigeria late Saturday.
Media reports had suggested Saturday that the aircraft, now being detained at the Aminu Kano Airport in Kano, originated from Russia. The plane, loaded with arms, bullet proof vests and a chopper, is believed to be on its way to neighboring Chad, when it was intercepted by Nigerian authorities.
As it is now, while the plane is being held and detained, the military is yet to state categorically where it is from and where it is headed.
“An Antonov Cargo aircraft carrying some military hardware was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in the early hours of Saturday 6th Dec. 2014,” the military tweeted via its handle [@DefenceInfoNG].
“Investigation is ongoing to determine the content and origin of the aircraft. Further details will be made as soon as the investigation is completed.”
The plane which landed at the Kano Airport due to technical problems, has been seized and the crew members detained while the investigations continued, an officer added.
“Security has since been beefed up at the airport in order to ensure proper investigations on the cargo plane lade3n with military hardware” the officials added.
The General Manager, Communications, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Yakubu Datti, confirmed the seizure of the plane.
He said the pilot sought permission to land at the airport after the plane developed problems.
“The plane had a technical problem and the pilot sought (for) permission to land at the airport’’, he said.
Mr. Datti said security agencies had since commenced investigation into the matter.
Security sources told PREMIUM TIMES the plane was traveling to N’djamena, the capital of Chad.
Previous cases like this has been reported in the past, but this time around, especially with the current problems in Nigeria, this has to be taken more serious and properly investigated. But again, why always in Kano?