The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to prosecute Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, for corruption.
Read the coalition's petition below:
18th July, 2016
Code of Conduct Bureau,
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Shehu Shagari Way,
DEMAND FOR THE PROSECUTION OF GENERAL BURATAI BEFORE THE CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL FOR FALSE DECLARATION OF ASSETS
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and contribute towards the enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria
In its report of 14th July, 2016 Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper reported that The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has opened up on the acquisition of $1.5 million mansions by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai. The bureau said its records showed that the assets of Buratai in Dubai were declared in his wife’s name.
The CCB made the clarification in a July 11 letter by Mrs. Ijeanuli Arinze Ofor, to Ugochukwu Osuagwu of St. Francis Xavier Solicitors and Advocates in Abuja. Osuagwu had requested information on Buratai “pursuant to Section 1 and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
Whereas, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, had on 24thJune, 2016 issued a to say “General Buratai” and his family own 2 properties in Dubai that were paid for through personal savings. The statement by the Army spokesperson also claimed the 2 properties were always declared by General Buratai. By virtue of section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act “Any statement in any declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorized to verify it, shall be deemed to be a breach of this Act”. General Buratai’s confirmed declaration of the mansions as owned by his wives while making clearly contradicts claims of the Army Public Relations Acting Director and constitutes a breach of the Code of Conduct Act which attracts sanctions upon conviction.
Furthermore Section 23 of the Act also provides as follows:
1. Where the tribunal finds a public officer guilty of contravening any of the provisions of this Act, it shall impose upon that officer any of the punishments specified under subsection (2) of this section
2. The punishment which the Tribunal may impose shall include any of the following:
(a) Vacation of office or any elective or nominated office as the case may be;
(b) Disqualification from holding any public office whether (elective or otherwise) for a period not exceeding ten years ; and
(c) Seizure and forfeiture to the State of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office.
Mr. Chairman, Nigerians were surprised at the urgency of your unprecedented response to FoI request on the General Buratai’s asset declaration form. Your bureau has undisputed reputation for secrecy and violation of the FoI Act with respect to information in asset declaration of public office holders. Meanwhile, there is a clear contradiction in the information provided by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration form and explanation offered by the Army Spokesperson on one hand, and the evidence of payment on the other, which is a clear violation of the Code of Conduct Act.
Finally, evidence of payments (payment tellers of Skye bank) made on behalf of General Buratai and published by Saharareporters confirmed one of the properties was purchased after the assumption of office by General Buratai as Chief of Army Staff. The payment was effected and contract consummated between July 24 and August 17, 2016. It would be important for your Bureau to investigate the source of this acquisition and the differences between the General’s most recent asset declaration and the penultimate one.
CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding the prosecution of General Buratai before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for false declaration of Asset and his forfeiture of such assets to the Federal government. We believe this will go a long way in compelling public officers to act transparently and provide accurate information at all times when declaring their assets.
Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation.