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No form of ransom paid for release of 82 Chibok girls, says Lai

No form of ransom paid for release of 82 Chibok girls, says Lai
May 21
07:52 2017
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Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, has said that the federal government did not pay €2m ransom to secure the release of 82 Chibok girls.

A BBC report had recently quoted a source as saying that €2m was paid to the Boko Haram insurgent group during the course of negotiation.

“Paying a ransom as well as swapping prisoners was a sticking point that almost unravelled the whole deal,” said the source. “It should have happened sooner, but the president was hesitating about freeing the five – and especially about the money.”

But Mohammed told PUNCH on Saturday that only five Boko Haram commanders were exchanged for the Chibok girls.

His denial came on a day when 82 Chibok girls were reunited with their parents and 21 of their colleagues who were freed in October 2016.

The minister said: “I emphatically deny on behalf of the Federal Government that any form of ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the 82 Chibok girls.

“Apart from the five Boko Haram commanders, the exchange of which we had already made public, no other concession was made. Any other thing to the contrary is absolutely false.”

Out of the 276 girls abducted in April 2014 from their school in Chibok, Borno state, 113 girls are yet to be released.

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