Senate sends findings on failed rescue of Italian, Briton to Jonathan


A senate inquest on the March 8 failed rescue of an Italian and a Briton held by militants for more than 10 months is to be sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, the senate has said.

Chris McManus, from North-West England, and Franco Lamolinara, an Italian, died in Sokoto where they were held, during a joint raid by Nigerian and British Special Forces.

The Nigerian and British government said the two men were “murdered by their captors before they could be rescued.”

Gunmen seized the two engineers in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state on 12 May 2011, and moved them to several locations before the March raid. The abduction had been blamed on militant group Boko Haram, but the group denied any role in the kidnap in a video statement last month.

The raid sparked a brief diplomatic row between Britain, Nigeria and Italy after the Italian authorities protested at not being informed of the decision to use force.

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Details of the operation have remained a guarded secret except that Nigerian soldiers, assisted by about 20 British Special Boat Squadron, including some Royal Marines, conducted the raid.

The initial findings by the senate’s committee on National Security were discussed for hours on Tuesday and the recommendations approved by the lawmakers.

The report is the outcome of the only known investigation commissioned by a government arm, and it is to be forwarded to Mr. Jonathan, senate spokesperson, Enyinanya Abaribe, said.

“The senate was satisfied by the findings of the committee and whatever decision is made will be forwarded straight to the presidency,” Mr. Abaribe said after the session.


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