Posted by Tobi Ademoye | 23 June 2018 | 1,245 times
Ongoing discreet investigations by local and foreign anti-graft agencies into allegations that part of over 3 million euro allegedly paid by the Nigerian government to secure the release of some of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok and Dapchi towns in Borno and Yobe respectively, may have stalled further negotiations for the release of the remaining girls.
The money is said to have been traced to two bank accounts in another jurisdiction.
Reliable security sources in Abuja told Saturday Sun that a detailed intelligence report by foreign investigators cataloguing alleged subterfuge, connivance and dirty deals involving millions of euros linked to a local security chief may have forced other stakeholders and the government to slow down further negotiations and/or release of funds in exchange for the abducted girls.
The foreign intelligence, it was learnt, raised the red flag on how suspected proceeds from over £3million ransom funds were stashed at Lamda Privat Bank in the Swiss-German principality, Liechtenstein, through some accomplices.
The local suspect, a Nigerian with Niger Republic dual nationality, was said to have worked with others including a Swiss with Brazilian dual nationality, another Nigerian/British citizen, a Briton and an Israeli with German dual nationality.
Consequently, Israeli police were the first to launch an investigation and subsequently arrested one of its citizens and others on account of bribery and corrupt foreign government officials, in which the Nigerian security chief’s name featured prominently.
A foreign report had earlier detailed that €1 million was paid for the 21 hostages first freed, an additional €2 million accompanied the five Boko Haram commanders that were exchanged with the next batch of 82 Chibok girls in 2017.
While there were no official details of the amounts paid for the release of the Dapchi girls on March 21 this year, with the government insisting that no ransom was paid, security sources in Abuja said that millions of Euros exchanged hands between a Nigerian security chief and Boko Haram insurgents.
A highly placed security source told Saturday Sun in Abuja that based on the latest foreign intelligence, an anti-graft agency has been directed to carry out a discreet investigation of the true owner of -GmbH bank account no. 32570021 with Lamda Privat Bank, Liechtenstein, under the pseudonym Auwalu Kallamu as the sole signatory. Auwalu and Kallamu are said to be the Arabic synonyms of Nigerian names. The anti-graft agency was also asked to probe “false declaration of identity of a commercial entity used to open the bank account as the account was opened using Niger Republic passport.”
“With this development, the government appears not in a hurry for further negotiation, because it is becoming an endless pit. No government wants to continue to be held to ransom by the terrorists and the negotiators. It is becoming apparent that the blackmail will have no end. Since the anti-graft agency has been mandated to check these offshore/foreign accounts, we can as well wait for the outcome before resuming any talk on more payment”, the security source whose office is involved in the process disclosed.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, however, denied knowledge that further talks on the remaining girls in Boko Haram captivity have been stalled. According to him, “I am not aware negotiation is stalled. Talks are still going on, not only by our security forces but by our partners and other stakeholders.”(Daily Sun)
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