Air Force denies paying bandits N20m to retrieve anti-aircraft gun

Chief of Naval Staff Awwal Gambo

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it did not pay N20 million to bandits in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State in exchange for a captured anti-aircraft gun as reported by some news outlets.

“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.

“The said report is totally false. It should, therefore, be taken as a fake news and disregarded,” NAF spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said there was no basis for the NAF to pay bandits which it had continued to decimate.

“Indeed, as recent as Oct. 12, NAF aircraft conducted five missions in the Jibia general area and engaged targets with rockets and cannons at Bala Wuta bandits’ locations in Kadaoji.

“Similar successes were recorded at Fakai Dutsin Anfare, an area in Jibia known for its high incidences of bandits activities.

“The false reportage, therefore, begs the question as to why the NAF would negotiate for a weapon allegedly seized and still carry out air interdiction missions on the same bandits and their strongholds,” the statement read.

Gabkwet added that NAF also used the opportunity to call on the general public to continue cooperating with security agencies as efforts were ongoing to rid the entire country of criminals.