The Alliance for International Medical Action, a global nongovernmental organization providing medical aid in disaster-hit communities has denied the abduction of its staff in Northeast Nigeria.
MK Reporters contacted its Nigerian officials but only one pleaded that he was not allowed “to speak on this matter”.
The US. headquarters of the NGO when contacted insisted none of its staff had ever been abducted since it started working in Nigeria in 2016.
Contrary to these claims however, MK finds that ALIMA staff and facility had fallen prey to Boko Haram terrorists twice before the Sunday attack.
A staff abducted over 12 months ago was rescued by Nigerian troops after fierce battle with the terrorists.
The NGO’s pharmacy in Monguno, Borno State was equally attacked and looted by Boko Haram fighters early 2019.
Just like Jennifer’s case, no statement or effort was made to aid the trauma healing of the affected staff.
The officials could claim ignorance but MK learns that the abduction of Jennifer Ukambong Samuel from Plateau State, her work colleague from Borno State, Asabe, a daughter in-law to a local Pastor, Hannatu Sabastin Ishaya among others on Sunday was duly reported in an emergency staff meeting hours later.
Investigations also reveal that a surviving staff began writing officials from the attack scene along Maiduguri-Monguno road last Sunday.
Furthermore, the responses from the officials to MK’s inquiries suggest full knowledge of the attack, at least after it happened.
Investigations also reveal that staff were warned against commenting on the abduction, particularly using Jennifer’s picture with ALIMA logo.
This was in a meeting summoned by Human Resource officials, Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the NGO also contacted Jennifer’s family inquiring if Boko Haram had brought forth any demands.
Denying the crime therefore suggests conspiracy, which is punishable by both the Nigerian Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act.
If otherwise, the NGO by concealing or denying the act might be attempting to save itself from any obligations relating to the rescue of the abducted staff.
“This is most disturbing,” says Mr. Solomon Maren, a Nigerian House of reps member in a press statement considers, Tuesday.
In his words, “In the case of Jennifer, the latest abductee, media reports suggest that her employers are even denying the incident, which leaves us with many questions.”
Nigerian officials had in 2016 attempted regulating NGO activities in the country but were opposed by local and international rights activists.
In October, 2019, media reports linked a French NGO to Boko Haram activities, causing fresh uproar against international NGOs working in the country.
Earlier reports in 2011 had suggested that the US, France and other foreign governments were funding the terrorists using NGOs.
MK learns of moves by local lawyers to sue ALIMA over the recent abduction of its staff.
If succeeded, the case might mark the beginning of the end of foreign aid missions in Nigeria.