The Nigerian Air Force has denied paying N20 million to bandits operating in Jibia, Katsina State in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun seized from the Nigerian Army.
The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that the Air Force struck the deal amid plans by President Muhammadu Buhari to visit his home state of Katsina, which has been ravaged by the activities of bandits in the northwest.
But the Director of NAF Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet debunked the report via a statement, noting that the newspaper report was part of a campaign to further the cause of insecurity in Nigeria.
According to the Air Force, the report was orchestrated by elements that see the Force as a threat following a series of successful exploits in operations against criminal gangs.
“The report went on to state that the reason behind the payment was to retrieve the anti-aircraft gun which, it alleged, the NAF feared could be used against aircraft operating within Katsina State,” the statement read.
“The NAF wishes to categorically state that there is absolutely no iota of truth in the spurious allegation that was undoubtedly designed to cast aspersions on the good image of the Service.”