Kenyans who were held inÂ NigeriaÂ overÂ Antony ChineduÂ deportationÂ have arrived inÂ NairobiÂ aboard their chartered plane.
A senior official at the airport who saw them said they looked jovial but tired.
A relative of one of the victims called The Standard to express the familyâ€™s gratitude for highlighting the case.
â€œThey touched down at JKIA at 4 am. Thank God. We are grateful to you media for highlighting the issue,â€ said one caller who is a relative.
The officials were expected to arrive inÂ NairobiÂ on Thursday but failed after a hitch at Lagos that delayed their take off.
Those who were stuck inÂ NigeriaÂ included Captain Tim Kavingo and his colleagues, flight engineer Alaka Ochiengâ€™, flight attendants George Kamau and Ismail Adan.
First officer Rokshanker Masoud, a Swede, is also affected.
The government officials who escorted the deportees were Mr Barasa Okosa, Mr Kariuki Ngugi, Mr Mungathia Muriira, Mr Pardala Dipason, Mr Kivuva Muthama, Mr Andrew Kambi and Mr Mutinda Kakindu.
he had announced on Wednesday evening that the Kenyan officials would be traveling back toÂ NairobiÂ after the two sides â€œresolvedâ€ the conflict.
Officials and relatives of the victims said they drove from the Kenyan embassy inÂ NigeriaÂ to the airport where the plane is detained ready to fly out only to be informed by authorities there they were not aware they had been cleared.
â€œThey were told there are fees they needed to pay before leaving which delayed the takeoff. They are here for now,â€ said a relative of one of those who were being held there.
The Kenyans were held upon arrival at a Lagos airport on June 3 after accompanying controversialÂ Nigerian businessman Anthony Chinedu and two of his accomplices-Â Christopher Nnanyelu and Oluwatosin Adebiyi.
Police in Kenya argued the three were drug traffickers, which occasioned theirÂ deportation.
The officials were detained on arrival at the airport and accused of flouting the local aviation rules.
Chinedu claimed he was behind the detention because he was deported unprocedurally and that he had left his property in Kenya.
Ms Mohammed said earlier the government had negotiated withÂ NigeriaÂ over the matter to have the victims released.
She said the negotiations were primarily undertaken by Kenyaâ€™s High Commissioner toÂ Nigeria, Thomas Amollo, who had also been hosting the detainees.
It is understood that Kenya offered to collaborate withNigeriaÂ on any futureÂ deportations related to drug trafficking.
Other officials said the flight manifest indicated the plane had 15 people on board butÂ NigeriaÂ argued the aircraft actually had 18.
The plane was used to drop other deportees to at least three other West African nations.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday changed her tune saying they were still working on the release of the plane.
“We are still doing the paper work for plane and very soon it will be sorted out. We shall have something to tell you within 24 hours,â€ she said inÂ NairobiÂ at forum on Dubai Investment.
At least 30 foreigners from the west African nations and Asia who police said were involved in drug trafficking were deported in an operation mounted.
The decision to deport the suspects using the chartered plane was arrived at after some of them started to be rowdy when they learnt they were being deported using international airlines.
Airlines also indicated they would not carry such individuals, the government hired the plane to deport them.