101 Dapchi girls released unconditionally, two died during abduction – Lai Mohammed; Boko Haram returns kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls; DSS negotiated Dapchi girls release, says DHQ; Nigerian government asks court to freeze Ekweremadu’s undeclared assets; Abduction and release of DapchiGirls, stage-managed – PDP . . .
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday said the abducted students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, were released unconditionally. Mohammed said:
“You see, all we can tell is what we got from our sources on ground. As things develop we will let you know. The girls were released unconditionally, no money changed hands. They only gave us one condition, that they will return them to where they picked them. So in the early hours of today (Wednesday), they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents homes.
As of now I can confirm that 91 girls and one boy have been released. The event is developing. Many of the girls that were released were not dropped in one place. Some were dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parents’ houses.
They are now being asked to come for documentation at a center and as at five minutes ago, I was told 91 girls and boy had been documented . . .”
— Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information & Culture
Boko Haram insurgents have returned the schoolgirls abducted from Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state. A source said five of the girls died in captivity. It is not clear if the Nigerian government paid any ransom to get the girls released.
The number of the Dapchi schoolgirls who were released on Wednesday has increased from 76 to 101, with the documentation of more of the freed girls by the security agencies, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister said the number could still increase, as the documentation of the freed girls is ongoing. He said the release of the schoolgirls is the outcome of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls, who were abducted 19 Feb. 2018.
The Defence Headquarters has said the military were not involved in the negotiations leading to the release of 101 Girls out of the 110 Girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in Dapchi, Yobe state.
Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen John Agim said in a text message that the Department of State Services, (DSS) , led the negotiations for the release of the girls.
Following series of enquiries from the Defence Headquarters on the role of the Military regarding the release of the girls in the early hours of Wednesday, Brig. Gen Agim responded via a text message saying “the girls were released through negotiations led by the Department of State Services (DSS)”
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze undeclared assets that were traced to the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu.
FG, via an ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/284/2018, specifically applied for an interim court order “temporarily attaching/forfeiting the properties listed in Schedule B hereunder, to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pending the conclusion of further inquiry/investigation by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property and/or possible arraignment of the Respondent”.
The motion was filed on behalf of the government by Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN.
While nine of the properties are in Nigeria, two are in London, eight in Dubai and three in the United States of America.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the abduction and release of the Dapchi school girls in Yobe State was stage-managed to achieve some political points ahead of the 2019 general elections. Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said:
“We thank God for the release of the girls. It’s a relief to all Nigerians. But the committee set up by the federal government should release the report on how they were abducted.
There are doubts here and there. And we ask that never again should this kind of a thing happen in this country. We condemn the All Progressives Congress (APC) and certain officials in the Presidency for staging the abduction of the schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, for political purposes.
Our party considers this act as wicked, callous and tormenting to use innocent schoolgirls as pawns in an ignoble script that was designed to hoodwink Nigerians and orchestrate a great rescue and security prowess of a conquering general, all to push a 2019 reelection bid, is an unpardonable gamble with human lives.
While this failed Dapchi drama remains a poorly crafted tragi-comedy; a scam of no equal dimension, Nigerians are not ready to forgive the APC and the Presidency for the torments inflicted on the girls, theirparents and the human community worldwide just to score a cheap political point.
Nigerians know that the main aim of this devilish act was to delude the public, set the stage for an orchestrated rescue, create a heroic mythand false sense of achievement around the APC administration and serve as a spur for President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration to contest the 2019 presidential election, perhaps, in the coming weeks.
As a political party, we want to further state unequivocally that by all ramifications, this is a war crime against humanity and gross violationof human rights on the part of the APC administration, all in the bid to push a selfish and ill-lucked 2019 ambition.
There is no evidence that the Boko Haram insurgents or any militant group abducted the schoolgirls in the first place. Rather, what is evident to all is the high level official manipulation of security movements in Dapchi both in the staged abduction and the returning of the traumatized schoolgirls.
It is instructive to note that till date, no report has been presented by the National Security Adviser (NSA), who has been charged by President Muhammadu Buhari with investigation of the abduction. This is in addition to deliberate efforts by the government to suppress free flow of information around the abduction.
Even the regular Nigerian on the street has examined the events leading to this abduction of our daughters as well as their release and can deduce theobvious.
Nigerians are all aware that both the abduction and return of the schoolgirls were dramatically preceded by questionable withdrawal oftroops and all security apparati at checkpoints and flashpoints in the Dapchi area.
They are also aware that the Buhari Presidency, as the principal command center of military operations, has refused to come out clear on the compromising of security and why no arrest has so far been affected in the entire saga, thus betraying a high-level of government conspiracy against the citizens for political reasons.
The PDP therefore calls on the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court to declare this evil by the APC Federal Government a war crime against humanity and immediately commence investigation on the matter. We demand the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in this saga,”
– Prince Uche Secondus, PDP Chairman