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Nigeria Group Demands Speedy Inquiry into Boko Haram ‘Sponsors’

  • Peter Clottey

FILE - A member of the Abuja "Bring Back Our Girls" protest group addresses a sit-in demonstration organized by the group at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, Nigeria, June 23, 2014.

FILE - A member of the Abuja "Bring Back Our Girls" protest group addresses a sit-in demonstration organized by the group at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, Nigeria, June 23, 2014.

A leading member of the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign called on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to expedite investigations into reports the country’s Central Bank was allegedly used by sponsors of Islamist group Boko Haram to fund violence carried out by the militants.

Emman Shehu also expressed concern that the administration has yet to launch an inquiry into allegations made by Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis that former Borno State governor Modu Sheriff and former Army Chief Azubuike Ihejirika are sponsors of Boko Haram.

“This whole advocacy is anchored on accountability,” said Shehu. “Therefore when the so-called negotiator for the federal government made the revelation that he has information that certain high-profile Nigerians are sponsors of Boko Haram, we [asked] the federal government to verify the allegation…and to ensure that these two are investigated and brought to justice if it is true that they are implicated.”

The government sharply denied hiring Davis to negotiate on its behalf with Boko Haram to release the over 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

Local media quoted Mike Omeri, coordinator of the National Information Center as saying the administration has no plans to prosecute any Nigerian based on Davis’ allegations.

“The government is still investigating the allegations made by the alleged negotiator... For now nobody has been hired by the government to negotiate on its behalf with Boko Haram. Anytime the government decides to do so, it will make it known to the public,” said Omeri.

Supporters of the administration have often said that accusations by leaders of the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign against the government are politically motivated to embarrass the president in the run-up to next year’s general election.

Shehu disagreed, saying the government has yet to release the Chibok schoolgirls in the more than 150 days since their abduction by the Boko Haram militants.

Government officials say the administration continues to work hard to bring back the girls safely to their families irrespective of the accusations by both leaders of the opposition and the “Bring Back our Girls” campaigners.

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