NNPC Ambush: Nigerian Army apologises for false claims; says more soldiers, Civilian-JTF killed


The Nigerian Army on Saturday said it regretted issuing out false statement about last week’s ambush attack on a crew of scientists who were carrying out geological survey for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Last week, a group of geologists from the University of Maiduguri as well as their aides who were subcontracted by NNPC to engage in oil exploration in Lake Chad region were ambushed and abducted by Boko Haram gunmen.

About 24 hours later, the army issued a statement that 9 soldiers lost their lives while all the kidnapped NNPC workers were rescued.

That claim turned out to be false.

Facts revealed that none of the UNIMAID scientists and their aides were rescued. Five of them were brought into Maiduguri dead. Three others later appeared in a video released on Friday by Boko Haram in which they called on the federal government to secure their release.

The military casualty and that of the CJTF was also much higher.

In a fresh statement issued on Saturday, the army spokesman, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, said the earlier misleading statement was regrettable.

He said more corpses comprising five soldiers, 11 Civilian-JTF and five explorations workers were further recovered by military search and rescue team.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the death of 12 CJTF members and five university staff whose corpses were all recovered.

The university vice chancellor has since confirmed the death of its five officials and said four are still missing.

Read Mr. Usman’s full statement below.

“The incident of 25th July 2017 where some Boko Haram Terrorists ambushed our troops including members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) escorting some staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as that of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) on oil exploration in Borno Yesu District of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno state is unfortunate and highly regrettable.

“Most regrettable also is my earlier release on the said incident about the rescue of all NNPC Staff.  The error in the statement was not deliberate.

“The Nigerian Army in this present dispensation is reputed for timely dissemination of information on activities of our troops in all theatre of operations. We have strived to keep the public informed on our activities with no intention of distorting any fact. Our troops have doubled efforts in the pursuit of the Boko Haram terrorists while search and rescue is still on-going to secure the safe return of the remaining civilians.

“So far, the search and rescue team has recovered additional bodies of 5 soldiers, 11 Civilian JTF and 5 members of the exploration team.

“Contrary to reports in some media, six members of exploration team out of 12 that went out are still missing, while one of the NNPC staff returned to base alive.

“On the other hand, our pursuit team also recovered 2 of our own Gun trucks and an additional Toyota Buffalo Gun truck from the insurgents. In addition, the team also made the following recoveries; 4 Rocket Propelled Grenade Bombs, 4 Rocket Propelled Grenade chargers, 6 AK-47 rifles, 1 Anti-Aircraft Gun, 1 General Purpose Machine Gun,1 Anti-Aircraft Gun Barrel, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, 4 Dane Guns, 8 Tyres and 2 Tyre Rims.

“Other items recovered include 1 Pumping Machine, 2 Tyre Jacks, 1 Super Battery, 5 Reflective Jackets, 3 Toyota Hilux, 4 Jerry cans filled with PMS, 1 Motorola Radio, 1 Geographical Positioning System (GPS), 21 empty Jerry cans, 2 Shovels and 3 Food Coolers.  Troops also recovered 122 rounds of PKM ammunition, 213 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 1255 Anti-Aircraft Guns ammunition, 4 boxes of API 12.7mm ammunition, 1 AK-47 Rifle Magazine, a Digger, 2 Bows and 13 Arrows, 2 LLG Bombs, assorted drugs and assorted working tools.

“The Nigerian Army condoles with the families of all that lost their loved ones in this unfortunate incident. Search and rescue efforts are on-going. We are counting on the goodwill and support of the populace in volunteering valuable information that could help in the search and rescue operation.

“What the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists are doing are pure criminal activities of kidnapping to gain funds. This has been noted and will be jointly addressed in conjunction with other Security Services.

“The Nigerian Army remains resolute in the fight against terrorism and would not relent in its effort to safe guard lives of citizens, properties and the territorial integrity of the country”.


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  • Rollingdollar

    Army of liars. Useless country

  • George

    I hope all the dead are Muslims Fulani and from the North.

    APC liar Mohammedu we are waitig your own side of the stories.

    • Charles

      He is trying to arrange it, so that the lies can fall into place, but each time he try to arrange it, the packs of lies will scatter, so please have patient, very soon you will have it.

  • Fernando Luis

    Stinking brainwashed coward APC supporters can now understand they are stuffing their heads with lies.

    • Otile

      Tell Kay Soyemi (fake Esq.)

  • Agba

    Milliitary always lie,Shekau have been killed many times by the nigerian army.GOD BLESS ODUDUWA REPUBLIC,

    • Frank Bassey

      Oduduwa Republic koo; Oduduwa Repub;ic nii. Mtchewew.

      • Agba

        Go and hang yourself.

        • Frank Bassey

          Are you just realizing yourselves – CAMELIONS.

  • BoT

    These fools are here talking about recovered arms and weapons, when we are talking lost lives. What is wrong with the Nigerian State?

    • Gideons

      My friend many things is wrong with our failed state call Nigeria.if the terrorists weren’t been fed with first hand information by suppose officers that sworn to the oath of secrecy because of blood money from the terrorists. How do will expect them to win the war.

  • Gideons

    Nigerian army Rouge it will not be well with you and your cohort, for lying to us and your bad ass terrorist sympathy, and corrupt commander in God’s name amen.

  • Freedom Bini

    Where did the Pursuit and cashing ends?

  • ed

    The tradition of lies and deceit continue. You believe anything that comes from this discredited terrorist supporter at great risk.
    The Fulani’s controlled Muslim Military leadership and Boko Haram work hand in hand.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Illiterate certificate forger and perjurer Muhammadu Buhari has truly defeated Boko Haram! Yeye dey smell.

  • Chief De Climax

    Exactly the same way they gave false claims on the number of IPOB members they killed in Aba, Onitcha, and other places. Thank God for Amnesty International. We are waiting at the ICC

    • AryLoyds

      Boko haram is a good islamic organisation , this initiative is a good move, they dont want their oil wealth stolen by the Nigerian Gov and their land polluted…

  • Frank Bassey

    Army una trio. Just wanted to please Mbuhari.

  • Sir Louis

    This inconsistency and outright deception is unbecoming of any modern and well managed military force. Pity for the Republic.

  • George

    WHEN IS BUHARI THE EVIL man coming back to face his boys boko haram.

    God will surely punish him for this calamities he has caused this beautiful country.

  • Wetin Naija

    We all know that Nigeria Army cannot be trusted. They lie all the time.

  • Arabakpura

    We can forgive them this one and last time! Chris Okukolade used to lie about how they were killing Boko Haram even when it was obvious they were at the receiving end! Our military should rebrand to be in tune as there is no room anymore for complacency!

  • Joshua Kwame

    Costly lies.

  • Jaja Majaja

    Boko haram has been technically defeated ….so these are mere technical statements .

  • Tunde

    Why is our default mode evil! Why? Why speak and give false information about people’s death? Why are we so morally bankrupt as a people! Why? Why? You have with your first response added to the pain of the families, the nation! You have brought the name of the country to disrepute! Why are we like this?! Why! You have given Boko Haram the moral high ground if possible, they will seize on the opportunity just by this behavior! God please help us as a people! Help us!

    • Otile

      Who are the ‘we’ you are referring to here? Call a spade a spade. The lairs are no other than the corrupt Army heads Buratai and Sani Usman with the tacit approval of the Presidency. Have you heard Buhari or Osibande call them to order each time they lie their heads off?

      • Tunde

        I called the spade sir, our leaders are a reflection of us. As a people human life is cheap; just look on the streets, kidnappings, jungle justice, boko haram, Badoo, niger delta; all a reflection of the type of people we are. Yes the line of thought is general but we need to look at ourselves also as people not just the leaders even though they have the greater responsibility.

  • Otile

    Allah ya ba ka Imam Abu Shekau lafia. Dukan dunia sun ce Amin.

  • efada acha

    What actually exposed the military is because one of the casualty is the VC brother and also the lecturers that were involved.its unfortunate that our journalists and media house during this dispensation are not reporting the realities on ground .during the Last administration we saw a vibrant journalism and NLC

  • efada acha

    Premium times where is my post

  • abodes_124

    We should be grateful for little mercies. As far as I am aware this is the first time the Nigerian army has apologised for anything at all. not to talk of correcting a false statement. If they can try a little harder people may begin to at least read or listen to their statements instead of dismissing them out of hand. Sani Usman should perhaps be moved to another post where he will cause less embarrassment.