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Kenya, Nigeria in talks over detainees

By Geoffrey Mosoku and Cyrus Ombati

Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya has initiated diplomatic talks with Nigerian authorities aimed at securing the release of Government officers who are held in Lagos.

Kenya has been grappling on how to secure the release of seven Government officials and five-airline crew of a private jet that was chattered to deport 10 foreigners, including five Nigerians, among them controversial businessman Anthony Chinedu, who had a long running court battle with his former wife Alice Akinyi about two weeks.

The 12 have been detained for almost two weeks at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, as Nigerian authorities claim Antony Chinedu was not procedurally deported. The charted plane belonging to East African Safari Express has also been detained.

Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed revealed she had made contact with Nigeria but refused to divulge information on the level of engagement.

Amina said providing more details on the saga may jeopardise the consultations and thus affect the progress of ensuring Kenyans and the jet are released.

“There are a lot of bilateral consultations between the two governments to see how the issue can be resolved, I can’t give you more information as it will complicate issues under consultation,” she said.

The Foreign Secretary when pressed by journalists to explain further on the negotiations asked the media to give the ministry time to address the matter adding; “This as you know is not easy to address, please allow us the time to complete the bilateral consultations.”

Government officials

The Government officials who included police and immigration officials are Barasa Okosa, Kariuki Ngugi, Mungathia Muriira, Pardala Dipason, Kivuva Muthama, Andrew Kambi and Mutinda Kakindu.

The airline crew include Captain Tim Kavingo, flight engineer Alaka Ochieng’ and flight attendants George Kamau and Ismail Adan and a swede national, First officer Rokshanker Masoud.

Chinedu is said to have convinced his Government that the deportation had nothing to do with drugs but rather a commercial dispute and was meant to defraud him property, which he claims to be estimated at around Sh500 million.

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