Nigeria has refused to release seven Ukrainian crew members and a plane full of weapons and ammunition despite Equatorial Guinea‘s government saying the cargo belongs to it, a diplomatic source says.
Nigerian security officials recently detained the Ukrainian cargo plane bound for Equatorial Guinea after it stopped to refuel in northern Nigeria‘s Kano airport and a routine search discovered the arms, Reuters reports.
“Equatorial Guinea has confirmed this is their cargo and owned by the government,” the diplomat in Nigeria‘s capital Abuja, who wished not to be identified, said on Monday.
“I don’t know why Nigeria has not yet released the crew and the cargo.”
The seven crew members were being detained at a military airport base in Kano and were in good physical condition, the diplomat said.
The source said Ukrainian diplomats had met with Nigeria‘s foreign ministry, air force intelligence service and national security adviser in the last few days. But there was no indication when the situation might be resolved.
Nigerian police have confirmed that an aircraft had been detained but gave no details on its origin or destination.