Friday, 21 June 2013

Officials held in Nigeria had travel approval, says Amina

PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed with EU Head of Delegation to Kenya Lodewijk Briet on June 19, 2013 at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. 
PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed with EU Head of Delegation to Kenya Lodewijk Briet on June 19, 2013 at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Ms Mohammed said officials detained in Lagos had genuine travel papers.  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By AGGREY MUTAMBO amutambo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Wednesday, June 19   2013 at  23:30

The Kenya government insists its officials held in Lagos after deporting a Nigerian suspected of drug trafficking had the necessary documentation to enter the West African nation.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed told journalists on Wednesday that the officials who deported Mr Anthony Chinedu and two other Nigerians had genuine travel approval.
“They had everything they needed to go to Nigeria; even had clearance to land,” she said after meeting European Union diplomats in Nairobi. “It is their (Nigerians) country, and we are in consultations. Actually, it is not that they are in detention, they are in a hotel. They just can’t be allowed to leave,” Ms Mohammed added.
The Cabinet Secretary said she had no idea why they were being held.
The Kenyans and a Swedish pilot — five crew and seven security and immigration officials — were assigned to deport three Nigerians considered by the government as drug peddlers. They flew with the three to Lagos but were refused to leave.
According to deportation orders signed by Attorney-General Githu Muigai on June 3, the officials were to escort Chinedu, Christopher Nnanyelu and Oluwatosin Adebiyi via chartered flight.
But on arrival, Nigerian airport authorities held the officials’ aircraft and blocked them from leaving unless they travelled back with the deportees. The officials were only removed from the airport when the Kenyan High Commission in Abuja intervened.
The three Nigerians reportedly vanished upon arrival.
Mr Chinedu on Monday claimed he would not let the officials travel back unless the Kenyan government compensated him for his investments.
On Wednesday Ms Mohammed insisted Kenya was talking with no one apart from the legitimate Nigerian government authorities. “There is a duly-elected federal government of Nigeria that we are negotiating with. It is only the media that is talking to Mr Chinedu,” she noted.

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