The Federal Government has again denied claims that it paid the Boko Haram terrorists an undisclosed sum of money to secure the freedom of the Dapchi, schoolgirls in their captivity.
The FG was reacting to a United Nations report on Thursday, accusing the FG of paying ransoms to the Boko Haram sect before securing the release of the girls.
It would be recalled that in February this year over 100 girls were kidnapped from the Dapchi school by a Boko Haram faction with about 105 of them later released by the terrorists. The FG did not secure the release one of them, Leah Sharibu, who refused to denounce her Christian faith, is still being held by her abductors.
The UN accused the Federal government of paying money for the girls release Dapchi girls in a report recently released and submitted to the UN Security Council on Boko Haram and related terrorist organisations,
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]Mohammed insisted that the report remained a speculation until evidence of payment of the purported ransom was made available. “It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge.[/penci_blockquote]
The report said such ransom was providing oxygen for the insurgency around the Lake Chad region. The UN report is titled “22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team”, related to Resolution 2368 (2017) regarding “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.”
The Federal Government however reiterated that it did not pay any ransom to secure the release of the Dapchi girls.
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In a statement issued in Ilorin, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed challenged anyone who has any evidence of payment to publish such.
“In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment,” the report stated.
Mohammed insisted that the report remained a speculation until evidence of payment of the purported ransom was made available. “It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge.
“There must be a conclusive evidence to support such claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is: a mere conjecture,” the Minister said