The Federal Government has rejected a report by the United Nations, which claimed it paid a “large ransom” to secure the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, denied the claim in a statement on Thursday night.
He challenged 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.
A United Nations 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.
The report, dated July 27, 2018, was called ’22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ and it contained information about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.
Concerning the 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.”
The Nigerian Government has, however, rejected it.
On March 21, when the girls were released, the minister had issued a statement explaining that their release was unconditional.