A former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T), Nasir El-Rufai has threatened to sue Nigeria’s chief of army staff, Azubuike Ihejirika over claims by the former army chief that El-Rufai is a commander of Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Ihejirika claimed that the All progressives Congress (APC) chieftain is a commander of the sect which has been responsible for numerous deaths and taking of territory in North Eastern Nigeria.
The allegation by Ihejirika comes on the heels of a post by El-Rufai on social media platform, Facebook, where he quoted Stephen Davis, an Australian negotiator who pointed accusing fingers at Ihejirika as a major sponsor of the militants.
Premium Times reports:
The Australian negotiator claims he had related with the Boko Haram since 2006, and worked with past Nigerian presidents and recently with the President Goodluck Jonathan administration where he came close to freeing the over 200 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in Borno.
In an interview with Arise TV in Uk, the negotiator said leaders of the sect briefed him that the former army chief, alongside a former governor of the Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff, funded their operations.
Mr. El-Rufai posted excerpts of the interview on his Facebook page and subsequently attracted the wrath of the former army chief. In an interview published by the Vanguard newspaper, Mr. Ihejirika described Mr.El-Rufai as a commander of Boko Haram.
“People cannot make such outrageous allegations without evidence about others and be allowed to walk free,” Mr. El-Rufai said, in justification of the court case he plans to kickstart later in the week.
Grievous allegations, but government won’t react
Mr. Davis based his claims on intelligence he purportedly gathered from Boko Haram top commanders, and did not offer verifiable evidence.
Some Nigerian civil society activists have since called for a thorough investigations of the negotiator’s claims.
Despite the grievous allegations by the Australian negotiator, the Nigerian government has remained quiet on the matter.
The defence headquarters, where Mr. Ihejirika served untill his removal in January, declined to comment on the allegations.
When contacted, the Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, referred PREMIUM TIMES to the “National Security Adviser, NSA, and political authorities.”
Both the NSA and the president’s office also declined to comment. Phone calls rang out unanswered.
Nigeria’s Information Minister, Labaran Maku, also did not respond to phone calls.
A high placed military source, however, told PREMIUM TIMES the military hierarchy is not in the mood to investigate the matter arguing that “In cases like this all the structures of government are involved.”