Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says Senate President Bukola Saraki slowed down the progress of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

The Federal Government on Thursday insisted that it did not pay any ransom to secure the release of the Dapchi girls.

In a statement issued in Ilorin, Kwara State, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, challenged anyone who has any evidence of payment to publish such.

The minister was responding to news item in the media which quoted a report submitted to the United Nations Security Council alleging that ransom was paid for the release of the girls.

“In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment,” the report stated.

Mohammed insisted that the report remained a speculation until evidence of payment of the purported ransom was made available.

He said: “It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge.

“There must be a conclusive evidence to support such claim.

“Without that, the claim remains what it is: a mere conjecture.”

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