The Presidential Fact-finding Committee on the Abduction of Chibok Schoolgirls on Thursday denied any alleged plan by the Presidency to influence its activities or manipulate its report.
The committee’s spokesman, Kingsley Osadolor, stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja. Yesterday.
Osadolor was reacting to a media report quoting a Borno Government official as saying that the recent comment attributed to Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, was a confirmation that the presidency had been planning to manipulate the committee’s report.
It would be recalled that Okupe, who appeared on BBC’s HardTalk programme on Tuesday, said that only God, the Borno State governor, the state commissioner for education and the principal of the Governmenrnt Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, from where the schoolgirls were kidnapped, knew the truth about the abduction.
Osadolor, however, explained that those who had expressed their opinions on aspects of the committee’s terms of reference were not members of the panel.
According to him, such people had never attended any meeting of the committee, nor did they participate as observers at the various interactive sessions the committee held in Abuja, Maiduguri and Chibok.
The statement read, “Indeed, no Presidency official has been privy to the minutes of the proceedings of the committee. Since the committee commenced work following its inauguration on May 6, the committee has issued media statements and granted interviews as the need arose.
“In other words, the fact-finding committee has communicated through its designated member/spokesperson.
“The Presidential fact-finding committee wishes to assure all Nigerians and other stakeholders that the statements credited to certain officials are their personal views, which did not emanate, either directly or indirectly, from the committee.
“Since the committee’s inauguration on May 6, there has been no meeting between the committee or any one or more of its members and the Presidency. The Committee has never been invited to give any secret or open briefing on its work or findings so far.
“The Committee would like to reiterate that it is not being teleguided.
“The fact-finding committee is now in the home stretch of its assignment. No staff of the Presidency has been obliged with a snippet of what the committee is working on. Furthermore, the committee has not issued any interim report”.