The Federal Government has debunked a report by the United Nations which claimed it paid a “large ransom” to secure the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls back in March.
In a statement Thursday night, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, denied the claim, challenging anyone with evidence of such payment to publish it.
”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 was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi.
The UN report submitted to the Security Council had detailed how Boko Haram was funded and indicated that the payment of ransom and the predominance of cash economy aided the terrorists.
Concerning the Islamist insurgency in the country, it said, “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.”
But on March 21, when the abducted schoolgirls were released, the minister had issued a statement explaining that their release was unconditional.