This is a grave allegation against Nigerian security forces – the Army and the Police.

London-based non-government organisation focused on human rights, Amnesty International is alleging that Nigerian security forces were warned about the presence of Boko Haram fighters near the town of Dapchi, but failed to respond, allowing insurgents to kidnap 110 schoolgirls almost without a confrontation.

“The Nigerian authorities have failed in their duty to protect civilians, just as they did in Chibok four years ago,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty’s Nigeria director, in Tuesday’s report.

“Despite being repeatedly told that Boko Haram fighters were heading to Dapchi, it appears that the police and military did nothing to avert the abduction,” she said.

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A military spokesman denied that they had been warned of Boko Haram presence in the region, saying: “There was nothing like that.”

He said if Amnesty had important information, the watchdog should notify a presidential panel set up in the wake of Dapchi to investigate the incident.

Amnesty alleged that the Nigerian army and police received at least five phone calls warning that Boko Haram was on the way to Dapchi as early as four hours before the attack but did not take “effective measures” to halt the militants or rescue the girls once they had been taken.

“The military withdrew troops from the area in January, meaning the closest personnel were based one hour’s drive from Dapchi,” the report said.

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