Featured img: Stephen Davis with MEND terror leader, Asari-Dokubo in 2004
Australian negotiator, Dr Stephen Davis, has dared former governor of Borno State, Senator Modu Sheriff, to sue him over allegations that he is a sponsor of Boko Haram.
Davis, who was in Nigeria to help negotiate the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, had told the media that Boko Haram commanders named Sheriff as one of their sponsors. Sheriff sponsors young men for lesser hajj from where they are recruited into the group, Davis alleged.
But the former governor has vehemently denied the allegations and threatened to sue the Australian for defamation.
Speaking to TheCable on Friday, Davis said he stands by his allegations. “He is worried, is he? He knows that if he goes to court, the evidence will be produced and he cannot escape justice.
Let him go to court if that is what he wishes. It is his right to do so. He will not be able to avoid close examination and then the facts will be known.
“Good luck to him if he decides to sue me in Australia. He can’t buy the judges here. Truth is not for sale. Australia has zero toleration for those who might sponsor terrorism,” he said.
“No one should be above the law whether in Australia or Nigeria. Justice must be served for every Nigerian killed, every girl and boy kidnapped, every girl raped, every person who has lost their home in the course of this violence. It seems to me the extent of involvement of every person named by Boko Haram as a sponsor should be closely and thoroughly examined by the correct authorities.”
Davis told TheCable he is “very sure” of his facts as he spoke with Boko Haram commanders “individually and separately” over a stretch of time and they were consistent in their assertions of Sheriff’s sponsorship of the terrorist group.
“I read his defence on the media this week. Rather than come out as a statement of facts, it read like a novel of unconvincing fiction,” Davis said.
“In the last 48 hours, I have been in touch with some commanders of the group and they maintain their stand on Sheriff’s involvement.
“Sheriff’s ploy of casting himself as a victim is a poor attempt at disguising his sponsorship as alleged by the Boko Haram commanders.”
Sheriff, who is at loggerheads with his successor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, denied having anything to do with Boko Haram at a press conference on Wednesday.
He said his younger brother, Goni, was killed by Boko Haram and the fact that his former commissioner, Buji Foi, was named a member of the group does not mean he funded the militants.