A chartered flight from Ukraine with a large cache of arms and ammunition has been impounded by security agents at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.
The jet, with registration number UR-CAK, is being guarded by armed police and Air Force personnel. Security sources said the plane, with six passengers and five members on board, landed at about 4 a.m. on Tuesday to refuel.
Those on the flight are believed to be Nigerians and Ukranians.
Airport security officials said documents found on them showed that the aircraft was heading for Malabo in Equitorial Guinea, Nigeria’s southern neighbour.
Information on the mission was sketchy at press time, as security chiefs were reluctant to comment.
Neither the Airport Commandant nor the local branch of the State Security Service (SSS) were willing to speak, as officials claimed ignorance of the development.
Airport Manager, M. Ali-nok, said he had not been officially briefed and could not say anything on the incident.
It was learnt, however, that the five foreign crew members are guests of the SSS, and the Nigerian has been moved to the Bompai Criminal Investigation Department.
Security officers contacted Abuja for further action, as the matter generated anxiety in and around the airport.
The consignment could also be destined for Nigeria, where there is a proliferation of illegal arms by private citizens aided by officials of the security agencies
In one incident, Inspector General, Mike Okiro, confirmed on June 10 that a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) is being investigated for unauthorised movement of ammunition from one command to another.
Okiro, represented by Deputy Inspector General (Administration), Ogbonna Onovo, told journalists in Abuja that the case was discovered when the Ogun State command found out that ammunition issued to him when he commanded the state’s anti-robbery squad was not returned to the armoury.
Onovo said it was discovered that the officer, while proceeding on transfer to Railway Police Command in December 2006, did not hand over a total 850 rounds of live ammunition to his successor.
“Following a subsequent query and search on the officer, the 850 live ammunition of different caliber were recovered intact in his office at the Railway Police Station, Dugbe, Ibadan. As a result, the officer was arrested and has been in detention since March 21, 2009,” he recounted.
Reports had alleged that the DSP operated three robbery squads that break into banks and steal flashy cars in major cities nationwide.