NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – The government says it will not negotiate with assumed drug baron Anthony Chinedu for the release of eleven Kenyans being held in Nigeria.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Amina Mohammed said the government is instead consulting with the Nigerian government for the release of the Kenyans.
“We are not in consultation with Chinedu. As you know there is a duly elected government of Nigeria and it’s with that government that we are in consultation. I think it’s only the media that is talking to Chinedu because we have absolutely no intention before and now to have any consultation with him,” she said.
Echoing the Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, Mohammed has asked for patience as the government works toward securing the release of the Kenyan officials.
“I’d really like to appeal that we provide that time to ensure that the consultations are not interfered with by anything that any of us could or would say,” she said.
While the government has not come out clearly on the reason for the detention of the Kenyan officials who accompanied six deportees, among them Chinedu, to Nigeria, Chinedu has claimed to be behind their detention saying they will only be released after he has recouped the value of his Kenyan investments.
“They mistreated their son and they got so angry and Kenya is not explaining to them what did this guy do. When you catch a mad man is when you know a mad man has a father, a mad man has a mother,” Chinedu said in a telephone conversation with Citizen News on Tuesday.
Even given Chinedu’s version of events, reports emanating from Nigeria indicate that the Kenyans are being held because the deportation was not carried out procedurally and the Kenyans might have entered Nigeria without the proper documentation.
Ambassador Mohammed was however adamant that the government officials who escorted the Nigerian deportees had the requisite papers.
Ole Lenku has however assured the public that no harm will come to the Kenyans while Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki has told Capital FM News that officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Interior and Coordination of National Government are carrying out high level consultations to ensure the speedy resolution of the stalemate.
“There’s nothing I’d like better than to announce the detainees are returning home but because of the complexity of the issue I cannot say anything for the fear of jeopardising the ongoing talks. I’ll be able to comment further in the afternoon,” Kariuki said.
The detention of the Kenyan officials and crew of the chartered plane used on the mission comes as a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s June 10 directive that all foreign drug dealers be removed from Kenya.