, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Eleven Kenyans held in Nigeria for over a fortnight ago have been released and are due back home on Thursday.
Government spokesman Muthui Kariuki told a media briefing that their release followed spirited negotiations between both governments.
“The release was as a result of top level negotiations between the Government of Nigeria and senior officials of the Government of Kenya led by Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Amina Mohamed,” he said.
He disclosed that the Nigerian government will waive parking fees the jet accumulated during the time it was held.
“This breakthrough is a testimony to the good relations that have always existed between the people of Nigeria and the people of Kenya.”
“The people of Kenya are grateful to His Excellency the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, for his concern and contribution towards the release of our people and the aircraft.”
The Kenyans were detained together with the plane used to deport several Nigerians, among them controversial businessman Anthony Chinedu who was facing drug-related charges in Nairobi.
Their deportation came after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered security forces to deport all foreigners suspected of trafficking drugs in the country.
The Nigerian government stated the aircraft flouted security procedures and had to be grounded.