The Defence Headquarters has retracted its earlier statement confirming the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
The spokesperson for the defence headquarters, Chris Olukolade, had told PREMIUM TIMES that a yet unclear number of the girls had been freed and driven in two Toyota Hiace buses to the Maimalari Barracks, the headquarters of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri.
But less than 30 minutes after he spoke to us, Mr. Olukolade called back to say he was withdrawing his earlier statement.
He said he had been having difficulty establishing contact with his colleagues in Maiduguri and that he was no longer sure that the girls driven into the barracks were newly rescued.
Mr. Olukolade had told this newspaper the girls had been freed and that the rescue exercise was still ongoing and that appropriate statement would be made later.
PREMIUM TIMES has also learnt that the girls driven into the Maimalari barracks were those who escaped earlier from the Boko Haram sect.
The over 200 girls, mostly teenagers, were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.
With the military withdrawing its statement, it now does appear the girls are still in captivity.