The Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy have dismissed reports of the killing of 97 Nigerians in Bakassi Peninsula over refusal to pay a N100, 000 fishing boat tax imposed on them.
The Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Immigration Service as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also said no Nigerian was killed in the particular case of fishing boat tax dispute.
These submissions were made to the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The security forces said Nigerians who could not afford the tax had returned to Nigeria and were in camps in Cross River State.
Maj. Gen. David Ahmadu, who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said the was unable to confirm the killings.
Ahmadu added that Nigeria and Cameroon has been collaborating on the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
He added, “The report on the killing of Nigerians cannot be confirmed by the Nigerian Army. Nobody corroborated the allegation. Nigerian and Cameroonian troops have had good cooperation on cross-border criminal activities. Our position is that we have not got any confirmation that the killings took place.”
Rear Admiral O.H. Ngalabak, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, said, “We undertook an investigation of the allegation. We found out that there were no evidence of attacks or injuries on the returnees. The report of the killings is doubtful and demands careful handling. The arrival of the returnees and the immediate protests in the area appeared to have been stage-managed for political reasons.”
The Immigration service confirmed that many Nigerians relocated from Bakassi to Nigeria when they were unable to afford the tax.
A Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. N.A. Ibrahim, informed the committee that so far the service had documented “1,541” returnees.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said it has been unable to establish that the killings took place.