Contrary to the claims of two ministers , SaharaReporters can report that a handsome ransom of five million euros was paid to Boko Haram to secure the release of Dapchi girls freed by the insurgents early Wednesday morning.
This is in addition to Boko Haram fighters in the custody of the Nigerian military exchanged for the release of the girls.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as well as Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali had denied that ransom was paid to Boko Haram to secure the freedom of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in their school in Dapchi, Yobe State on 19 February.
The two ministers said instead of paying a ransom, the federal government relied on ‘backchannel negotiations” to ensure that the girls were released by Boko Haram.
But a source who also participated in the negotiations with Boko Haram that led to release of over 80 Chibok girls in 2017 told SaharaReporters that the federal government not only made the ransom payment of five million euros to the insurgents, it also exchanged some Boko Haram prisoners in return for the Dapchi girls.
However, the lie that no ransom was paid to secure the return of the Dapchi girls followed a consistent pattern of such under the table millions of dollars payments by the federal government to Boko Haram to secure freedom of abductees, especially since the advent of the Buhari administration.
It was believed that huge ‘ransom’ was paid to Boko Haram for freedom of three university lecturers and the 10 women recently released by the insurgents while between two to three million euros were also paid by the Federal Government to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of 82 Chibok girls in 2017.
The BBC had reported that millions of euro in cash were handed over to the insurgents in exchange for the release of the girls in addition to the release of five senior Boko Haram militants were bomb-makers.
“The ransom was €2m. Boko Haram asked for euros. They chose the suspects and gave us the list of girls who would be freed,” BBC quoted a source as confirming the deal with Boko Haram.
Sources said Lawal Daura, the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, who has been in charge of the ‘opaque negotiations’ with terrorists has, along with some government officials, build a big business out of kidnap for ransom negotiations.
However, 5 out of the 110 abducted students were said to have died during their abduction, while one is still in custody of the kidnappers as she refused to be rescued.