The bodies of 48 members of the federal government team exploring for oil in the north-east, who were ambushed by the Boko Haram on Tuesday, have been brought to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
This is in spite of the claims by the Nigerian army that 10 of the abducted persons had been rescued.
According to Punch, sources at the UMTH and the Maimalari Army Barrack said the corpses comprise 18 soldiers, 15 Civilian JTF members, five UNIMAID staff members and four NNPC drivers.
Six persons who were wounded in the attack but escaped to some unknown location in Yobe State were later found dead and brought to Maiduguri, according to the report.
Sani Usman, spokesman of the Army, released a press statement on Wednesday claiming that all the NNPC staff abducted in the Tuesday’s ambush had been rescued.
“On receipt of the information, the Brigade mobilized and sent reinforcement, search and rescue party that include the Armed Forces Special Forces and guides that worked and pursued the terrorists throughout the night,” he said.
“So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the Officer, 8 soldiers and a civilian who have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.”
Usman also stated that the rescue team killed many of the terrorists and recovered many arms and ammunition, including gun trucks and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials.
But the report by Punch said that five lecturers from the University of Maiduguri in the exploration team were killed. They include Joseph Millitus, Manaja Uba and Idris Njodi.
Danjuma Gambo, spokesman of the University of Maiduguri, said he could not comment on the development as he was in Abuja and therefore did not have adequate update on the matter.
Similarly, Kingsley Samuel, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, refused to comment on the matter, saying: “You have to get in contact with Abuja on this, as I have no available information. It is under the 8 division.”