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EXCLUSIVE: Anti-graft Agency, ICPC Moves N2.1bn Recovered From Ex-Army Chief, Buratai To Central Bank, To Seek Forfeiture Of Posh Vehicles, House, Others

July 6, 2022

SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how the ICPC recovered funds (including foreign currencies) from a house registered to someone fronting for Buratai, a military contractor and Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has moved the billions of Naira recovered from former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.) to the Central Bank.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how the ICPC recovered funds (including foreign currencies) from a house registered to someone fronting for Buratai, a military contractor and Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau. 

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The newspaper on Wednesday learnt N2.1 billion was eventually recovered by the ICPC, which has been taken to the Central Bank of Nigeria. 
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the commission was under pressure not to disclose the full amount recovered to the public. The initial plan was to reduce the figure to as low as N30 million.
But the commission, in a statement, later said it 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".

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It said, "Facts available for the time being indicates that the property is owned by owner of K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor."
“The Commission arrested the Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau and investigation is ongoing. The Commission is yet to conclude its investigation and prefers not to preempt its outcome and also avoid the frenzy of a media trial,” it added. 

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SaharaReporters 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.
Buratai, a retired Lieutenant General was the COAS between 2015 and 2021.

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Despite denials by his lawyer and other faceless individuals, the army general already admitted to a newspaper that the property was his and no search warrant was obtained before it was raided.
A top source told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that the anti-graft agency has moved the cash recovered to the Central Bank.

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The source added that the ICPC would approach a court to seek the forfeiture of the monies, house, posh vehicles, jewellery and other things recovered from the building.
“N2.1 billion was recovered and it has been taken to the CBN. ICPC is set to apply for forfeiture of the money, vehicles and the house where these items and monies were found. But the commission is still under immense pressure,” the source said.
'Missing' Arms Funds
 
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 and Chief 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.”
 
Buratai's History Of Graft
 
SaharaReporters 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 SaharaReporters 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. SaharaReporters' 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.