New York—The United Nations said, yesterday, in its analytical report that the Federal Government paid a huge sum as ransom to secure the release of Dapchi school girls in Yobe State, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents on February 18, 2018.
The report, submitted to the Security Council Committee pursuant to Resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaeda and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, also revealed that cash economy was a major factor fueling the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the Lake Chad Basin region.
This was contained in the 22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, pursuant to Resolution 2368 (2017) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities.
The report came against the backdrop of persistent denial by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that government paid ransom to secure the girls’ release.
“It is not true that we paid ransom for the release of the Dapchi girls, neither was there a prisoner swap to secure their release.
“What happened was that the abduction itself was a breach of the ceasefire talks between the insurgents and the government; hence it became a moral burden on the abductors. Any report that we paid ransom or engaged in prisoner swap is false,’’ Mohammed had said in one of his denials.
…..FG didn’t pay any ransom — Lai Mohammed
However, reacting to the report at press time yesterday, Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Government stands by its position that no ransom was paid for release of the Dapchi school girls, even as it challenged the United Nations to provide proof of payment.
He said: “It is so sad that the media in Nigeria enjoys de-marketing its own country. The United Nations offered no proof of payment, yet, the media is saying we paid and we stand by our position, we did not pay and anybody who said we paid should provide proof of payment.
“Where is the proof of payment? Again, why should they take the UN’s word against our own? It is very sad, and some people said Lai Mohammed lied, I was not contacted.
“You see, this is what we have been saying about fake news. Let them (UN) provide proof of payment. Of course, we did not pay and we stand by our position that we (FG) did not pay.”