, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 28 – The 11 Kenyans who were released after three weeks of detention in Nigeria have finally arrived in Nairobi.
Officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport told Capital FM News that the private jet carrying the Kenyans, mainly security personnel landed at 4am on Friday.
“They arrived. They have already gone to their homes but the jet is here,” an official at the airport said.
The 11 Kenyans were detained in Nigeria for violating unspecified security regulations after deporting suspected drug traffickers, including controversial businessman Anthony Chinedu who was facing various charges in court.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed and Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki on Wednesday announced that the Kenyans were released following spirited negotiations with the Nigerian government.
“The release was as a result of top level negotiations between the Government of Nigeria and senior officials of the Government of Kenya,” Kariuki said.
He disclosed that the Nigerian government had waived 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,” he added.
“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 hired jet used to deport the Nigerians.
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 unspecified security procedures and had to be grounded.
Although the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary has said the parking fees and other charges accumulated at the Nigerian airport were waived, it still unclear how much the jet cost the Kenyan tax payer, considering the contract period was extended following the detention.