• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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FG’s committee to begin fresh investigation on Chibok girls’ abduction


A fresh investigation into the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls is about to commence, as Federal Government’s constituted committee finally sets to take off.

This is even as the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group requests for the initial report of the General Sabo committee, which was completed and submitted during the last administration.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in January this year, at a meeting with the BringBackOurGirls campaign group, directed the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to set up a committee that would carry out a fresh investigation into the abduction of the 219 girls who were taken from their dormitories.

On April 14, 2014, men of the Boko Haram sect kidnapped over 200 girls from the Government Secondary School in Chibok town of Borno State. While some of the girls managed to escape, the whereabouts of most of the girls is still in doubt, as the Buhari government announced they had no credible intelligence on their specific location.

Presidency sources, Wednesday, confirmed that the President had finally approved the list of the committee members after six months of issuing the order.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said the committee had since been constituted but was awaiting the President’s approval, “but he has finally approved it and they will commence their work soon.”

Terms of reference for the committee may include among other things to carry out fresh investigations on the abduction and the situation surrounding it.

Members of the committee, it was also gathered, were approached on a one-on-one basis to solicit for their commitment and readiness to embark on the fresh investigations on the abduction, which may be able to give the government more leads and help close up some missing links. The official said the names of the members of the committee would be made public soon.

However, a spokesperson for the BBOG, Abubakar Abdullahi, called for the release of the first report that was submitted by the first committee, as it was not wise using taxpayers money to conduct a new round of investigations without details of the investigations already done.

“We have always asked for the release of the General Sabo’s report, which was completed and submitted to the President. Without the first it won’t be fair to use taxpayers monies to do something that has already been done and so this has always been our stand, we have always asked for the first report to be released. “Like I said, we cannot take a stand on the new committee and its members so we cannot react yet,” he said.

Prior  to the composition of the committee, it was obvious that both the past and present administration were still in doubt of the abduction of the girls.

Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan had in the wake of the abduction set up a 26-member fact-finding committee led by Ibrahim Sabo (rtd.), to investigate the abduction as well as ascertain the exact number of students missing.

Sabo’s committee had confirmed the abduction of 276 girls, adding that 57 of the girls succeeded to escape from their captors.

President Buhari on the other hand had on several occasions declared that his government had no concrete evidence on the whereabouts of the girls.

At the meeting between the BBOG group and the President at the Presidential Villa in January, some parents of the girls said they were not comfortable with the former investigation that was done, as the community was not carried along.

They had also raised questions of a person who was arrested in June last year, stating that he might have had some useful information to share in relation to the abduction of the girls.

However, the Nigerian military had in April this year given the parents of the girls some hope, confirming the possibility that most of the over 200 kidnapped girls were still alive and held in Sambisa forest, which is the remaining stronghold of the terrorists, and as well as a location close to the Chad-Niger border.