LEADERSHIP – It has been confirmed that the contents of the Saudi Arabian Airline that ran into some construction equipment at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Wednesday, December 04, 2013, were security hardware.
The plane landed at about 9:19pm that day and blocked the only major runway at the airport, delaying takeoff and landing of flights in the airport for over 20 hours.
LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported that the Saudi cargo plane was carrying 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) made in Russia, which compounded its immediate evacuation from the runway.
In a reaction to LEADERSHIP story, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia agreed that the plane originated from Saudi Arabia and was carrying bullet-proof cars made in South Africa.
In a letter, dated December 20 to LEADERSHIP, the Saudi Embassy clarified that the Boeing 747 plane marked K 74798 “was chartered by Saudi Arabia Airline, carrying bullet-proof cars and its final destination is Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
The detailed description of the content of the plane is as follows: a set of bullet-proof cars weighing 58 tonnes. Another set of five bullet-proof cars weighing 42 tonnes.
“The goods were a portion of a supply contract for 10 bullet-proof cars to a government agency in Nigeria, which were to be conveyed from Sharjah (UAE) via Abuja, through Fast Forward Cargo US UAC, to Defence Industries of Nigeria (DICON), 45 Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna, through the company’s contact person: Mr Nwajpudu Livinston/CCC. The goods were manufactured in South Africa.”
The Saudis wanted the impression that the cargo plane was carrying weapons be corrected since the goods aboard the plane “were neither those considered as dangerous nor prohibited.”
The Nigerian aviation and military authorities had kept mum over the contents of the Saudi cargo plane despite reports of security hardware aboard it.