General Buratai: From Battlefields To The Farms, A Glimpse Into The Retirement Of Nigerian Military Icon

Ambassador Buratai Reacts To Sahara Reporters’  Publication, Says It Is A Smear And Fabricated Tale


Ambassador Buratai Reacts To Sahara Reporters’  Publication, Says It Is A Smear And Fabricated Tale

OpenLife Nigeria reports that former Chief of Army  Staff, now Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, ret’d has reacted to an earlier publication in Sahara Reporters, an online publication, to the effect that huge sum of money was found in the Abuja home of the former Army boss by operatives of the  Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, an  apex body vested by law with the responsibility to fight corruption and other related offenses in Nigeria.

In the story, Sahara Reporters wrote:

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered N1.85 billion from a house and office said to belong to former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai in Abuja, multiple sources told Sahara Reporters. Buratai, a retired Lieutenant General was the COAS between 2015 and 2021.

Sources said ICPC officials stormed the house in the Wuse area, beside the National Open University of Nigeria Campus in Abuja last week after it received a tip-off from a whistleblower.

Sahara Reporters gathered that the huge cash was part of the billions of naira earmarked for the purchase of arms and ammunition by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

 “Last week Thursday, ICPC officials stormed a house in Wuse area of Abuja, beside National Open University and arrested a man, Kabiru Salisu after they saw N850 million cash in the house,” a source told SaharaReporters.

“He claimed the money belonged to Tukur Buratai who was in Cotonou at that time.

 “Officials of the ICPC took him to an office where another N1billion in cash was also discovered. Also, bulletproof cars, BMW, G-Wagon worth N450m were recovered.”

 “Serious pressure is being mounted to claim money found was only N30m,” another source said.

 In March 2021, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno revealed that funds running into billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition under the past service chiefs were unaccounted for.

 His revelation came a few months after President Buhari replaced Buratai and other service chiefs.

 Others were former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadique andChief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas.

 According to Monguno, neither the money nor the arms were on the ground upon the resumption of the new service chiefs.

 “Now that he (President Buhari) has brought new people (service chiefs), hopefully, they will devise some ways… I’m not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now,” he had said.

“The President will surely probe this matter. As we speak, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum too is also wondering where all the money went. I can assure you the President takes issues of this nature seriously.

 “The fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found.

 “When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did see anything on the ground.”

 However,  Sahara Reporters had in a series of publications in 2016 exposed how Buratai procured expensive assets in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, between 2013 and 2015, from proceeds of crime.

 He and his two wives in 2013 paid the sum of 1,498,534.00 AED (N120 million/$419,000) for the first property, Project TFG Marina Hotel Unit 2711.

 Sale documents indicated that the first property was handed over to the Buratais on January 13, 2013.

Eleven days after he was appointed by President Buhari, the retired Army General made arrangements for the purchase of a second property from the same company in Dubai.

 Between July 24 and August 17, 2015, he paid a total sum of N42.2 million into TFG Sigma 111’s account in Nigeria (Skye Bank 1770380452).

 Evidence exclusively obtained by Sahara Reporters revealed that Buratai made N10 million payments on July 24 and August 7 respectively.

 Three days later, another N10 million was paid into the real estate firm’s account. The phone number on the Skye Bank teller is 08033349740. Sahara Reporters investigations showed that it belonged to a Nigerian Army Major, Emmanuel G. Adegbola of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps (N/10808).

 On August 17, 2015, the Chief of Army Staff paid the sum of N3,270,000 into the account.

 Buratai, who owned up to purchasing the two properties in Dubai, however, claimed that he amassed his wealth through “personal savings” and not ill-gotten gains.

 He added he made a lot of money from his snake farm along Keffi-Abuja Highway in Nasarawa, just 50 kilometres from the nation’s capital.

In his reaction through a statement signed by Osuagwu Ugochukwu ESQ, Legal Advisor to Ambassador Buratai, ret’d,  the former Chief of Army Staff said:

My  attention has been drawn to a recent publication on webpage of Sahara Reporters titled “EXCLUSIVE: Anti-graft Agency, ICPC Uncovers Billions In Cash Meant For Arms, Ammunition To Fight Boko Haram In Abuja Home Of Ex-Chief of Army Staff, Buratai”which was published on June 23, 2022.

 I have gone through the said Publication and have interfaced with Ambassador T.Y.Buratai and can authoritatively say the content of the publication is false, concocted and malicious.

It is on record that on or about 5th April 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military through the Ministry of Defence.It is a fact that first batch of Six Super Tucano fighter jets arrived Nigeria July 22, 2021 while final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets arrived October 18, 2021. No Arms fund is ever missing contrary to some previous mischievous publications.

 For the records no such amount (N850 million  or any similar sum) was found with Ambassador Buratai nor does he have any Aide bearing such name. Ambasador Buratai has no office or house in Wuse Abuja(address not supplied by SR) nor does he have any bulletproof cars, BMW, G-Wagon (Particulars of vehicle not also supplied by SR) worth N450m and neither is ICPC investigating any such.

 We view this as an orchestrated act aimed at tarnishing the image of Lieutenant  General T.Y Buratai and we shall take all legal steps to hold the publishers accountable for such grievous character assassination on the image of LT.T.Y Buratai(RTD).

Meanwhile, in a statement and titled “Abuja Home Where we Found Looted Cash not Owned by Buratai” signed by Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson, ICPC and made available to news men, the ant graft agency stated that

The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to some inaccurate and concocted reports in the media about the seizure of multibillion-naira cash, dollars, Rolex watches stockpiled in an Abuja property.

  1. The Commission wishes to state that ICPC operatives raided a property in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, 16th June, 2022 between 5:00pm and 12:00am in suspicion of money laundering . Facts available for the time being indicates that the property is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor.
  2. The Commission recovered money and other items from the property viz. N175,706,500; $220,965; G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customized mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents.
  3. The Commission arrested the Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau and investigation is ongoing.
  4. The Commission is yet to conclude its investigation and prefers not to preempt its outcome and also avoid the frenzy of a media trial.






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