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Probe Stealing Of Arms Funds, Other Corruption Allegations Against Nigerian Ex-Army Chief, Buratai — HEDA Urges Anti-graft Agencies, ICPC, CCB

Just recently, security operatives busted a house in the Wuse area of Abuja where cash meant to buy arms for the war against terror, and vehicles and other items were recovered.

The anti-corruption group, Human & Environmental Development Agenda has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau to thoroughly investigate the recent allegations levelled against the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Buratai Tukur (Rtd).


Just recently, security operatives busted a house in the Wuse area of Abuja where cash meant to buy arms for the war against terror, and vehicles and other items were recovered.


Buratai, despite denials by his lawyer and other faceless individuals, already admitted to a newspaper that the property was his and no search warrant was obtained before it was raided.


In a statement on Sunday, HEDA's Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, urged the ICPC and CCB to ensure a thorough investigation into the issue.


This is even as the body condemned the level of gross abuse of office and other misconducts.


He noted, “As a leading Anti-Corruption Organization in Nigeria and Non-partisan Human Rights and Development league with the mandate to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, public accountability, transparency and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa in accordance with International best standards, we are worried about such abuse of public trust, hence the need to act fast.”


HEDA, in the petition, highlighted previous cases of misconduct hanging on Buratai.


HEDA referred to a report by Peoples Gazette that Buratai abused his position by lobbying and receiving a government contract from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) through his company Yasiga Nigeria Limited in violation of Section 6 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and also the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.


HEDA boss further revealed that it was reported in 2014, that Lieutenant General Buratai (Rtd) through his company, lobbied and received contracts from NDDC worth over N120,000,000:00 (One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira). The money was received through Yasiga Nig. Ltd’s bank account 1015538180 with UBA bank.


He affirmed that it was also discovered that seven days after the last tranche of payment was received from the NDDC, Buratai, (who was a Major general at the time), transferred N10,000,000:00 (Ten Million Naira) from Yasiga’s account to his personal account.


“It is trite that a public officer in government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not allowed to own or be a director or shareholder in any private company and for Lieutenant General Buratai (Rtd) to own and control Yasiga Nig. Ltd, he has violated all extant Acts and Public Service Rules guiding public officers in Nigeria,” Suraju said.


“Similarly, Buratai was exposed as having properties in Dubai by the news media, SaharaReporters. The military officer defended the breach of code of conduct at the time with the claims of purchasing the properties with proceeds from his little-known snakes farm. Just like he had admitted the ownership of the building connected with ICPC discovery of potential money laundering case with the accusation of ICPC conducting the search without a warrant.


“We call on the Commission to diligently investigate the current case in addition to the previous allegations of acquisition of Dubai properties and contracting for the NDDC while serving as a military officer and to prosecute accordingly so as to deter others and further show that the law applies to all Nigerians irrespective of class,”


He charged other Civil Society Organisations not to relent in their fight against improprieties across the board, no matter who is involved.


“As a permanent and unapologetic enemy of bad governance, we are not giving up in the fight against any form of misconduct no matter where or when it was done.


"Enough of impunity and lip service war against corruption. This administration must not be lopsided while fighting corruption. ICPC, EFCC, CCB, Judiciary and other agencies must up their games and fish out and deal decisively with every enemy of the State (looters and resource abusers) for the sake of divinity,” he implored.