France has denied the allegation by the Nigerian government that the financial headquarters of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is located in the country.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday told newsmen after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Presidential Villa that funding of the secessionist group in southeast Nigeria is coming from France.
“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know…You have to block the sources of finance.” the minister had said.
However, in a statement issued today in Abuja, the Political Counsellor, Claude Abily of the Embassy of France, said she is shocked by the statement attributed to Nigeria’s information minister.
The embassy added that it has no knowledge of IPOB presence in France and that the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with it on this issue.
France, she said, cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and strongly supports its unity.
The statement said, “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made yesterday by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.
“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point.
“We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.
“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country.”